Thinking scientifically about how to solve systemic bottlenecks in the life sciences

Open Opportunities
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Science at Astera

Much of human progress is attributable to science. Science is the engine of civilization, a crucial source of past progress and future hope. The current scientific system is successful, but deserving of continuous optimization.

At Astera Institute, we believe that science can and needs to do better. Rethinking inefficiencies and experimenting with various aspects of the scientific enterprise will uncover new and improved approaches and processes. Developing, testing and refining these new processes will remove friction in the cycle of the scientific method. By reducing such barriers, we hope to accelerate scientific progress across ecosystems to more expediently address global challenges.

Scientific Information Flow

Science requires complex information management because progress is iterative and new discovery must be integrated with existing knowledge. As the production of scientific data and results accelerates, we need new and better ways to manage this expanding and evolving information space.

Publishing scientific papers is currently the primary mode of sharing scientific ideas. However, traditional publishing mechanisms are not designed to handle the amount and complexity of information flow. This is becoming an increasingly significant bottleneck to information synthesis. We are challenging our thinking about the ways scientists rapidly share and synthesize information across the scientific enterprise.

As a first chapter, we are running experiments to improve the publishing process so that scientists can more easily distribute results and discoveries via established mechanisms. The current publishing system urgently needs new ideas. We are excited about partners who are doing radical experiments in this space to iterate on new, creative solutions. In the meantime, we think this will increase the rate of scientific progress and more efficiently move the world toward the next generation of hypotheses and applied solutions in scientific information flow.

Studying the Process of Science

Astera supports Michael Nielsen’s research on processes within the broader discovery ecosystem. To learn more about envisioning improvements to the culture of science, please see a new book about metascience from Michael Nielsen and Kanjun Qiu:
A Vision of Metascience