This interview features Professor Sophien Kamoun, a senior scientist and professor of biology with the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK. Dr. Kamoun is known for his prolific Tweeting but, more importantly, for his work with oomycetes #notafungus, effectors, genomics and evolution.
Prof. Kamoun is well recognized for his efforts to champion data sharing and other open science practices. Recently he was one of the leading scientists who founded Open Wheat Blast, an initiative with the main goal of providing genomic data and analysis related to wheat blast with open access. The collaborative efforts by several teams allowed to rapidly confirm the source of wheat blast in Bangladesh in early 2016. It is a great pleasure to have Prof. Kamoun as an OPP member and answering a few questions about open science.
OPP: You have a strong presence in social media, together with other prominent plant pathologists, advocating for more open and transparent science and data sharing. Tell us a bit about your background and when you realized that open science and data sharing were important to furthering science.
SK: I think I have always been tuned to new technologies and tools. I’m also aware of the importance of science communication and networking. Therefore, it’s perhaps no surprise that I quickly became hooked to Twitter and related social media tools such as Scoop.it. Twitter has become an integral part of my daily routine. I use it primarily to broadcast, gather new information and interact with a wide range of people beyond my immediate colleagues. I love that incessant flow of information we get through Twitter. In some ways, I’m addicted to knowledge and social interactions, and Twitter is my drug.
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