In the video Science as Amateur Software Development, Richard McElreath entertainingly presents the notion of applying software development skills to scientific inquiries.
|Science as Amateur Software Development
Richard McElreath, an anthropologist, reviews common issues seen in scientific data collection, management, and testing. McElreath's experience with the Open Source scientific software development community has caused a rethinking of the usual scientific practices. This video is, in some sense, a plea for science to adopt a common, distributed, professional infrastructure as is the norm in software development.
McElreath highlights the Data Carpentry workshops as a method for teaching important methodologies to the scientific community. The video shows many interesting examples in science where the failure to follow best practices produced incorrect results.
Some of the interesting topics in Science as Amateur Software Development are:
- Brief overview of anthropology
- Scientists' dependence on software
- The lack of version control in scientific data set management
- Continuous integration in the sciences
- The things not taught to doctoral science students
- Data integration and unit testing
This is a highly informative talk about the importance of best practices in software development and the value of these practices for science. The latter sections of this video present the concept of continuous integration testing as applied to scientific research in a particularly clear and understandable format.