Ideas and people flow round the world (and one day into space?)

[21-25 October 2013] The editors' note about your science week

This week ideas flowed freely at Open Access Week, population genetics helped us understand the flow of humans round the world, and Knock Knock Doc took us from Colombia to France to the planet Mercury.

This week, as you undoubtedly know, was International Open Access Week. Events around the world explored the potential and the challenges of OA, including the three evenings in Paris hosted by MyScienceWork and all our great partners. Check out these discussions and more with the hashtag #OAW13. These talks covered open access as it relates to researchers, as well as a much wider slice of society. Indrajit Banerjee of UNESCO puts it well when he says that “you can’t have a free flow of ideas if people don’t have access.” If you missed it, you can listen to Dr. Banerjee explain the link between OA and sustainable development in this video from OA Week 2012:

[Open Access Interviews] UNESCO's Indrajit Banerjee

Ideas flow, knowledge flows, even the people behind it all flow. Over the course of history, populations have moved, humans have migrated. Population genetics is the field that explores these movements, using ancient DNA as one of its tools. The research covered in this article found surprising results regarding today’s inhabitants of Siberia. Turns out their roots do not lie in the populations you might have expected…

Genetics in the Service of History


Humanity has already spread all over our planet; will the next big move be into space? Some definitely think so (see: Stephen Hawking), even if the number of people truly willing to sign up for a one-way ticket to Mars has been somewhat less than expected (see: Mars One). Two things that are sure to take off for space in 2016 are Julian Rodriguez’s satellites. Julian is a PhD student working on the BepiColombo mission that will study the planet Mercury in great detail.  In this week’s episode of Knock Knock Doc, he tells Arthur all about the tests he carries out to be sure the satellites will send back fantastic images and data about the planet closest to the sun.

Knock Knock Doc - Episode 05 # Season 2, "Destination: Mercury"


If that’s not enough to fire up your imagination for humanity’s future in space, take a look back at this article by Clément Epié, who finds great inspiration in the new space age:

Start Dreaming Again: The Coming Era of Asteroid Mining


Happy reading, happy dreaming…
And a great weekend to all.

The MyScienceWork Team