Tim O’ Reilly at Nature: science meets bored tech-savvyness to find new things

timandtimoAs a biotech geek blogger and occasionally Make contributor, who stands at the intersection of science and technology with a (life) science bias, it is more and more exciting to see how the attractive brands of the 2 sides are building the bridge and creating a shared channel. So far, the biggest manifestation of this shared channel was the SciFoo Camp, organized by Nature and O’Reilly, hosted by Google. Now Tim O’Reilly, a native of Cork, Ireland turned Californian tech publisher visited the Nature Headquarters and talked about his angle on the web and tech publishing (giving me an incentive to finish the story of my earlier visit at Nature at September). You can read the informal account of Timo Hannay on the meeting at Nascent (picture: my shot on Tim and Timo summarizing the SciFoo experience at the Googleplex).

One thing seems more visible to me: Tim is bored about his original business and industry and is looking for some new which he seems to find in…. science (see Craig Venter and Tim O’Reilly chat: when 2 worlds meet).

The computer industry was a very exciting place, and then it became boring, because it became consolidated. ..There is going to be a lot of consolidation, the man will take over (he might be idealistic like google), it is going to get a lot more boring. The interesting question is what will happen when google’s growth slows down?
But you have to have a belief in people’s ability to find new things. There are going to be a lot new areas coming out of science, one thing we can do is to help to birth the future.

or: What happens when folks from synthetic biology meet hedge fund hackers meet roboticists and makers?

Tim’s boreness is really good (not the burned out part) for scientists like me. For instance, one of my ideas (an idea briefly communicated to Phil Torrone at the Austin Maker Faire) is to collect enough bioDIY projects like the “Make stem cells from the placenta at home” together, that is enough to set up an exclusive “sciencey” BioMaker Faire. In an event like this researchers can bring and share their practical knowledge with happy Maker Faire visitors outside of academic science. Boreness excluded as the focus will be on practicality which is the best way of learning new things.

There are many other interesting points in Timo’s account, for instance the story of SciFoo Camp and the future of the publishing business, but for that I ‘d like to redirect you to the original post.