Today is my first formal day as a Shuttleworth Fellow, pursuing my vision to promote a new, open approach for human health data and research.

My vision

I want to apply open principles to how we approach health research.

This is not your standard flavor of “open science”. I believe in an open approach that harkens to the ethos of the open source movement: empowering and involving all individuals, participant as well as researcher. In so doing, we unlock new approaches and opportunities for research.

I believe achieving change requires a combination of technology, community, and thoughtful design. Open Humans combines these: it is a project, platform, and community that makes the hypothetical real – through this, we discover what works and what does not.

While Open Humans acts as direct instrument of achieving new forms of “open”, it can also act as a demonstration of how this new approach has substantial value for society and science. I hope it serves as a beacon to influence the policies and practices of others, and a cornerstone of a broader community advocating for new, open approaches to health research.

About the fellowship

The Shuttleworth Fellowship is unique. It funds me – but it also funds more: through their co-investment approach, I am now empowered to act as a potential funder. It is flexible and ongoing: what money I invest, and how I do so, is something I’ll explore in the coming year.

Although today is “day one”, I’ve been welcomed in the past weeks and connected to the fellow community via chat and email. Every fellow is brilliant and innovative, applying their vision for openness to new fields. In particular, I invite you to learn more about the other three new fellows:

About this blog

One of my duties as a fellow will be to blog regularly, to write about my vision and share it with others. That vision is closely related to Open Humans, a project I’ve co-founded. While there is an Open Humans blog, that venue is for our Open Humans newsletters. I need a place to share my more personal vision.

And so I’ve created this blog. It’s open source, adapting an existing work, shared in a GitHub repository and deployed using GitHub pages.