IDBS Blog | 8th April 2013

The Social Network

Make science social! That’s our mantra as we head to Bio-IT World this week.

People believe that certain individuals are natural communicators: politicians, media moguls, celebrities, but R&D scientists? Science – the search for shared knowledge – is actually all about communication. Given the right environment R&D folk can be naturals. So what’s the best way to open the communication channels and keep conversations flowing?

Most innovation sparks when people come together. This is great across a coffee in the canteen with everyone bringing in their lab books but impossible if your organization is highly diversified, externalized and collaboration dependent. Enabling scientific collaboration in fast-growing, international R&D companies can therefore be a constant challenge.

It’s all about encouraging transparency and ‘right-time’ access to real experimental data. This is key to effective internal, external and multinational collaboration. There is nothing like experimental data to stimulate discussion, debate and innovation: the clash of challenge upon hard fact to generate new thinking.

Scientifically aware, scalable data management systems can also be instrumental in breaking down these barriers. Adapting emerging social norms such as tagging, commenting and sharing into the scientific environment boosts collaboration. Enabling virtual lab meetings also unlocks every company’s biggest asset: the innovation power of their own scientists.

Are you going to Bio-IT World? Don’t miss our own Paul Denny-Gouldson speaking on this topic in the drug discovery track, April 10, 12pm. We’re keen to share your thoughts and experiences on how social media tools can boost collaboration in the lab.

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