Last week I had the chance to speak at the 9th International Scientific Conference on Cultured Meat in Maastricht, the Netherlands. For academic and staff scientists in cell ag, this is the go-to event for sharing the latest data and research in the field.
I had the privilege and responsibility of giving the last keynote of the conference. It wasn’t a presentation of new data but rather a check-in for all of us who are driven by the mission of the work.
Mission Cell Ag: A Call to Action for Collective Progress is a newer talk calling for mission-driven folks in the field to do things differently. We have to acknowledge that current, standard-issue models of tech development simply do not bring mission-driven technologies to market; a point well-described in our paper, Cultured Meat Needs a Race to Mission Not a Race to Market.
The feedback and questions I received after the talk were encouraging. We agree that the current models aren’t ideal – but what *is* the path forward?
While we don’t have all the answers, we do have some strategies for impact. And one of those is open science.
This week is International Open Access Week, where we will be sharing our efforts to make things open in cellular agriculture. We believe that publicly-funded research should be publicly accessible; and since we are a public non-profit funded by >1000 individuals and foundations, every one of our donors should be able to access the work they contributed to.
Not only will we be sharing recent open publications, we will also be sharing approaches, protocols, and policies we have used to do our work as openly as possible.
Believe it or not, open is not the default. In our modern, profit-driven world, even the realm of academic science has become default closed, preventing the connection, collaboration, and community that makes science impactful.
This year’s Open Access Week theme is Community over Commercialization. It is precisely the message we need at this juncture in cellular agriculture’s development; at a time where companies are feeling the pinch of a bad market, where academic institutions are stepping up, and where doubts about the venture capital model are being planted. Will there even be anything to commercialize if we do not elevate our community first?
Stay tuned for this week’s newsletters; we’ll be sharing new research, the blueprints of our fellowship, and some new open hardware.
Happy Open Access Week!
All the best,
P.S. Did you know the classic New Harvest images (like the one below) are openly licensed for use and re-use?
Check out our image library here and use them in your slides, reports, and presentations!