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Mozilla science lab logo-icon.jpg Mozilla Science Lab
Owner: Kaitlin Thaney Updated: Jan 13, 2014
The Mozilla Science Lab is an initiative of the Mozilla Foundation exploring how the power of the open web can change the way science is done. We build educational resources, tools and prototypes for the research community to make science more open, collaborative and efficient. For more, visit mozillascience.org.

The vision

The web has revolutionized many aspects of our everyday life, from media to education and business. But even though the web was invented by scientists, we still have not yet seen it change scientific practice to nearly the same extent. In scientific research, we’re dealing with special circumstances, trying to innovate upon hundreds of years of entrenched norms and practices, broken incentive structures and gaps in training that are dramatically slowing down the system, keeping us from making the steps forward needed to better society.

The aim of the Science Lab is to foster an ongoing dialogue between the open web community and researchers to tackle this challenge. Together they'll share ideas, tools and best practices for using next-generation web solutions to solve real problems in science, and explore ways to make research faster, more agile and collaborative.

Focus areas

Code and data literacy

Digital literacy is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. In academia, skills training to match the tools and technology is still leagues behind where it should be. We need to find a way to better empower students to be "digital researchers" by shortening the gap and providing the means for them to learn how to share, reuse and reproduce research on the web.

Software Carpentry

Software Carpentry helps researchers be more productive by teaching them basic computing skills. Its volunteers have run over 90 intensive two-day boot camps at dozens of sites around the world in the last 18 months for over 2500 scientists, and the site provides open access material online for self-paced instruction. For more on Software Carpentry, visit their website.

Support and innovate with the community

There are some incredible tools out there pushing the limits to what the future of science on the web can be. We want to help support that work as well as find ways to help coordinate efforts and innovate together.

Convening a global conversation

Science is a global enterprise, and this needs to be a global conversation. We want to make sure we are getting tools into the hands of the people who need them most, and continually soliciting your thoughts about how we can, together, work towards more open, efficient science on the web.

The team

  • Kaitlin Thaney (Director, Mozilla Science Lab): Kaitlin came to Mozilla from Digital Science, a technology company that works to make research more efficient through better use of software. She also advises the UK government on digital technology, is a Director for DataKind UK, and chairs the London Strata Conference series on big data. Prior to Mozilla and Digitial Science, Kaitlin managed the science program at Creative Commons, worked on education technology with MIT and Microsoft, and wrote for the Boston Globe. You can follow her at @kaythaney
  • Arliss Collins (training coordinator, Mozilla Science Lab): Arliss handles communication, scheduling and coordination for the Science Lab's educational programs, including Software Carpentry. In her previous life she was a geophysical engineer and an IT analyst.
  • Abigail Cabunoc (lead developer, Mozilla Science Lab): Abby comes to Mozilla after longtime contributions to open source projects helping science. Previously at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research where she led development on WormBase, an online biological database aiding nematode research, she bring some serious worm knowledge to the team, as well as a background in bioinformatics and computer science. Abby's also an active member of the Toronto software development community as a mentor and educator. You can follow her at @abbycabs.
  • Bill Mills (community manager, Mozilla Science Lab): Bill is a front end developer, nuclear physicist and advocate for massive change in how we think about the role of computing in science, and how that can impact the daily lives of everyone. Formerly a front end developer for the GRIFFIN Experiment at TRIUMF and a contributing member of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, Bill has many years of experience seeing the successes and failures of how real science approaches computing, and hopes to bring together the ideas and parties that will let us make real progress towards a stronger and more open scientific community. Follow Bill at @billdoesphysics

How to get involved

  • Twitter: @MozillaScience, @swcarpentry
  • Join our community calls: Second Thursday of every month. Come hear more about what we're up to, interact with community members and join the conversation.
  • Join us for a Software Carpentry bootcamp: a list of upcoming events, and how you can get involved
  • Follow our planning here on the wiki, for new ways to get involved over the coming week. We'll be hosting community calls, running events, and providing other means for you to join the conversation. Stay tuned.


The Mozilla Science Lab is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. If you'd like to find out how you too can support the Science Lab, contact us.



This work by the Mozilla Science Lab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.