Uncertainties in Chemistry

Published on June 22, 2017

Interview with Jeremy G. Frey: University of Southampton, UK,
recorded at the  BEILSTEIN OPEN SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM (22 – 24 May 2017).

Jeremy Frey discusses uncertainty in chemistry with Carsten Kettner. Uncertainty in what scientists have done, what you may have done yourself, uncertainty in the results that come out – essentially anything. His own approach to research is to find ways to minimize all types of uncertainty. The first step is of course to document oneself exactly what one did; the problem being that when one carries out an experiment for the first time, one does know what information is essential. On the one hand scientists need better training, but on the other it is sometimes very difficult to describe experiments and give a foolproof description of the method to allow reproducibility. A scientist, who is doing something completely new, pushing at the boundaries, will probably not be able to reproduce the results satisfactorily until the process is fully understood. And it is important for people in science and in the media to realize that at the cutting-edge of discovery, initial lack of reproducibility can be expected and is acceptable. Jeremy concludes that it is vital to correctly manage uncertainty in science.

Please have a look at our other videos with some speakers and their standpoints on Open Science:

Challenges for Scientific Databases
Frédérique Lisacek: Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Geneva, Switzerland

The Open Source Chemistry Lab
Matthew Todd: The University of Sydney, Australia

Making Open Science Sustainable for Chemistry
Ian Bruno: Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Cambridge, UK

Transfer of Metadata from the Bench to Databases
Henry Rzepa: Imperial College London, UK

Fly-by-Wire Chemistry
Lee Cronin: University of Glasgow, UK

The European Open Science Cloud
Klaus Tochtermann: Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel, Germany

Libraries in Transformation
Leah McEwen:  Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Discussion: Retro- and Prospectives on Open Science
Ian Bruno, Stuart Chalk, Martin Hicks, Carsten Kettner, Leah McEwen.

Open Access, Open Data, Open Science, Data Sharing and Big Data are examples of buzz words that are used to describe the new opportunities and demands for sharing and reusing the results of scientific research. This symposium brought together research scientists, data scientists, publishers, funders and other interested parties to review critically current publication practices in chemistry and related sciences.

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