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CC Science events

Current Work

In 2011, Creative Commons received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to explore the future of Science at Creative Commons.

Q1 outputs:


Science at Creative Commons was known from 2005-2010 as Science Commons, a project launched with the goal of bringing the openness and sharing that have made Creative Commons licenses a success in the arts and cultural fields to the world of science. Some of the links below will redirect to pages that still use the old nomenclature of Science Commons, though all such pages will be retired at some point in 2011.

Key projects:

  • Making scientific research “re-useful” — Via the Scholar's Copyright Project, we develop and promote policy and tools to help people and organizations open and mark their published research as Open Access or Open Data.
  • Enabling “one-click” access to research tools — Via the Materials Transfer Project, we offer a suite of standardized contracts to bring the efficiencies and economies of scale from e-commerce to the world of scientific tools, so researchers can easily replicate, verify, and extend research.
  • Integrating fragmented information sources — Via the Neurocommons project, we help researchers find, analyze, and use data from disparate sources through our R&D around marking and integrating the information with a common, computer-readable language.

Resources available include a set of Science FAQs, a Reading Room, a Resource Center for research foundations investing in open science, and the (now-deprecated) Science Commons blog.

Science at Creative Commons is overseen by members of the Creative Commons board, including MIT computer science professor Hal Abelson; intellectual property expert Michael Carroll; and lawyer and documentary filmmaker Eric Saltzman. Bioinformatics entrepeneur and metadata expert John Wilbanks directs the Science project as Vice President for Science at Creative Commons.

We are guided in our work by a remarkable Scientific Advisory Board, including 2002 Nobel Laureate Sir John Sulston; renowned genomics and bioinformatics scientist Michael Eisen; prominent economist Paul David; and the distinguished patent law and biotech scholar, Arti Rai. The late Joshua Lederberg (1958 Nobel Laureate) served as an Advisory Board member from 2006 until early 2008.

Science Commons began operations in 2005. Science Commons was housed at and received generous support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we shared space, staff and inspiration with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Science Commons had an annual budget of approximately $750,000, raised independently from traditional CC "core" funds.

Operational support is raised from a variety of sources including private foundations, corporations and contracts. Past funders have included the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, CHDI, Michael J Fox Foundation, and donors who wish to remain private.