Review by Rachel Ehrenberg
The most common edit to a Wikipedia article changes only a single line of text. The same is true for Linux, the open-source computer operating system: A typical contribution changes just one line of code. Such “microcontributions” are one way to bring more expertise to any enterprise, argues Nielsen, a physicist. And by using such approaches to make all of science open and collaborative — through online sharing of data, methods and problems — the rate of discovery will ramp up too.
Nielsen’s book is a thorough primer on what he calls “networked science.” Some researchers are already harnessing collective intelligence. More than 200,000 people have helped astronomers classify celestial objects through the Galaxy Zoo project, and video game players are helping biologists uncover how particular proteins fold. We are in the midst of a revolution, N