Recently, a creative team from Eemagine development interviewed me for their publication presenting people from the digital technologies world, asking me about the current projects, motivation, and #startwithwhy story. Below is the entire interview and you can also read it on Medium.
How ICT Got Meaning in the Real-Time World
A Career Path of a Brilliant Woman in the World Wide Web
Danica Radovanovic does a lot different things; she is a digital equality advisor, an internet researcher, a consultant. One of her biggest accomplishments, though, merged all three together — a startup that will provide free access to Internet to people in Tanzania and DC Congo.
Having been one of the Internet’s early adopters in Serbia, her experience in the digital world is quite extensive. She had a newsletter in the late 90’s with over 800 members, in the early 2000’s, she was an editor of an electronic magazine, and a successful blog that exists to this day.
What was the first experience that led you to what you do today?
“I researched the communication and social practices in ICT in Serbian internet communities for my PhD thesis; how young and older people use social media and social networks in their everyday life, and for
As more and more people awaken to the threats against our basic rights online, we must start a debate – everywhere – about the web we want.- Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Web We Want is a global movement to defend, claim and change the future of the Web. The focus is on using innovative approaches to build support for national and regional campaigns to create a world where everyone, everywhere is online and able to participate in a free flow of knowledge, ideas, collaboration and creativity over the open Web.
One of the projects and campaigns around the world is 100 quotes from Women about the Web. Behind this campaign is Renata Avila, Global Manager for the Web We Want Initiative, collected the quotes, pointing out that “one must remember that both the Web and the Internet were designed by men and that still the 50% of the global population has a lot of ideas, new structures, architectures and innovation to contribute to each layer. And women in our space are really present and active and vocal.”
Joanne Manaster is a cell and molecular biology lecturer at the University of Illinois. She currently works as an online course developer and lecturer of science courses for the School of Integrative Biology. Prior to this current position, Joanne has taught histology, cell biology, and tissue engineering laboratories to biology and bioengineering students for nearly 20 years. Beside her academic career, she is a science writer and communicator, science video host, and STEM advocate. Joanne has run a girls’ bioengineering camp, and helped with the iGEM synthetic biology team and other outreach activities. She also makes video reviews of popular science books as well as whimsical science experiments with cats, cookies, gummy bears and make-up.
Joanne writes about science at her website, Joanne Loves Science and also at Scientific American blogs. She has been named by Mashable as having one of the 25 Twitter Accounts That Will Make You Smarter. You can find her on Twitter as ScienceGoddess.
Would you, please, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? What is your scientific background, and your professional scope?
Thank you for asking me to join you!
I am a faculty lecturer at the University of Illinois. I initially started my college studies with plans to head to medical school but through my course of studies I found I really clicked with cell and molecular biology and was very adept at lab work. Through various opportunities, I also discovered I had a knack for explaining scientific concepts so eventually changed my path to teach at the university level. I studied muscle development at the microscopic level in grad school and eventually transitioned to teaching cell biology and histology.
How did you initially get interested in science? When did you start to express your curiosity for science?
I always loved nature and had a fascination with human health. I spent a lot of time in nature and did a lot of reading on science topics. I didn’t know any scientists. I knew they existed from reading textbooks, but the whole field seemed shrouded in mystery. However, I understood what doctors did and thought that becoming a physician would be a valid way to pursue my passion for science. As I mentioned above, it wasn’t until college that I realized how scientists did their work, and could then consider that as a career path.
It is interesting to mention that you are a former international model, back in the days of your adolescence. Did you find something scientific in the world of modeling and fashion?
As far as modeling goes, I was discovered while I was in high school. Initially, I wasn’t enthusiastic about it but realized it would be a great way to earn money for medical school. While I was modeling, I wasn’t thinking about it in any scientific manner as I was learning to interact with a very new and somewhat foreign world. It wasn’t until I completed my science training in college did I really start to see how science explained just about everything. In my course of teaching students, I also began to see the value in piquing their interest by talking about things they could relate to in terms of science, and that extends to my online outreach!
Would you tell us more about your role within executing online courses for current and future science teachers?
One could call Simon Phipps a real eclectic geek, having in mind his background and activism globally: from campaigning for digital liberties, open data, open source software and political transparency, through his columns at InfoWorld to presidenting at the Open Source Initiative.
Simon studied electronic engineering at the University of Southampton, after which he worked for IBM, being involved in introducing the Java programming language, then he was leading Sun’s open source projects for Sun Microsystems – where he also worked on open source licenses. When Sun Microsystems and Oracle merged in 2010, Simon joined ForgeRock startup as Chief Strategy Officer. Now, he heads his own consulting company, Meshed Insights Ltd.
He is the president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) since 2012 – the non-profit organisation that advocates for open source software and builds bridges between open source communities and maintains the open source licenses. Also, he is a board director at the Open Rights Group in the UK and on the advisory board of Open Source for America.
Simon has been giving talks at many conferences on open source, free software, digital rights, etc. I had a chance to meet Simon couple of years ago in Oxford (UK), at the Transfer Summit conference on open innovation, development and collaboration, and ever since I’ve been following his work online and offline.
Would you, please, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? Where do you come from, both geographically and philosophically?
I’m originally from south London but have lived in Southampton for 35 years. I’ve been programming computers and making electronics since I was a teenager, with other interests in general science. I’ve always been fascinated by networks and the capacity for action at a distance, so my career has embraced many aspects of both.
Back in the days of Sun Microsystems, you were leading Sun’s open source projects, and later got involved in the Open Source Initiative. How did you initially get interested in open source software?
At one point I ran a company that helped programmers create and distribute software as Shareware. I realised most people who use software could be trusted to support the developers behind it; our business was successful as a result! That opened my eyes to the deeper reality that underlies open source software. If you remove the obstacle of needing permission to contribute, a community will naturally collaborate to create what they need individually and share it with everyone else. So when I arrived at Sun from IBM, I already believed that open source was a crucial part of the new society emerging because of the Internet. At Sun I was privileged to oversee the relicensing of pretty much the whole of Sun’s software portfolio, including Java, identity management, Solaris, and much more. The legacy we created is still important, especially the code that has ended up as LibreOffice and the ongoing releases of Java under the GPL.
Would you explain to our readers what do Open Source Initiative (OSI), beside promoting open-source software, do for the Internet, science, research, and academia?
OSI was formed in 1998 as the steward of the then-newly-coined “Open Source” concept. It checks that copyright licensed labelled “open source” really do deliver the freedom to use, study, improve and share software source code. The OSI’s evaluation of licenses is globally respected and provides a benchmark that’s written into law and policy in many countries.
As an internet researcher and social media consultant, I ask some of the guests to tell me and my readers more about themselves, their current projects, and their views on topics including internet technology, the use of the Web in science and education, and certain aspects of the digital technologies that influence our everyday lives and work. Earlier this month I had a conversation with Marcus Foth, the interview is published for Australian Science.
Marcus Foth is an Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, as well as the Principal Research Fellow at the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology. He has authored and co-authored over 90 articles published in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings, as well as the Urban Informatics web site. You can follow him on Twitter.
Would you, please, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? Where do you come from, both geographically and philosophically? What is your scientific background, and your professional scope?
Certainly. I was born and grew up in the Northern part of Germany, in a town called Lübeck, at the coast of the Baltic Sea, about an hour from Hamburg. After high school I moved what appears to be as far away diagonally as possible within Germany in order to commence a computer science degree at the University of Furtwangen in the Black Forest that offered a – at the time – unique specialisation: Medieninformatik which combined technology applications and media studies. This was in 1997. The internet was just starting to become commercially successful, and many current students were still working on kiosk installations and multimedia CD-ROMs which were the latest fad at the time.
Being a Semantic Web, Open Linked Data, Open Source enthusiast, and at some point the contributor to the AP for the FOAF and other metadata standards, recently I had an opportunity to talk with Kingsley Idehen on his current projects, views on the use of the Web technologies, Open Linked Data, WebID, serendipity, and certain aspects of the Internet that influence our everyday lives. The interview is published for Australian Science.
Kingsley Idehen is the Founder & CEO of OpenLink Software. He is a recognized technology enthusiast and expert in areas such as: Data Connectivity middleware, Linked Data, Data Integration, and Data Management. He is also a founding member of DBpedia project via OpenLink Software. Kingsley’s background is quite varied: he had planned to become a scientist in the genetic engineering realm but ended up being more fascinated by the power Information Technology and its potential to reshape mankind. From science, accounting, and programming, he followed his scientific instincts to architect OpenLinkVirtuoso, a powerful and innovative open source virtual database for SQL, XML, and Web services. The Virtuoso History page tells the whole story about Kingsley’s vision and accomplishments. You can follow him on Twitter and read his Google+ posts.
Would you explain to our readers a bit about the OpenLink Software, for those in the Web technology who may not be familiar with it? Can you give us a story about the inception, history, work and achievements of the OpenLink Software?
OpenLink Software develops, deploys, and supports bleeding edge technology covering the following realms:
1. Relational Database Connectivity Middleware — ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OLE-DB, and XMLA Drivers/Providers
2. Disparate Data Virtualization
3. Personal & Enterprise Collaboration
4. Relational Tables (RDBMS) and Relational Property Graph (Graph DB) based Database Management Systems
5. Federated Identity Management.
I founded OpenLink in 1992 with open database connectivity middleware supporting all major RDBMS products as our focus. By 1998 we evolved our vision to include RDBMS virtualization, and by 2000 we decided that the Semantic Web technology stack provided all the critical standards that would enable us extend data virtualization to include other data sources and formats beyond the RDBMS.
Jean Cocteau once said that the art is science made clear, but what he didn’t indicate is that the science is creating different forms of art including the art of connecting people and communicating science. Bora Zivkovic is a unique, energetic, technologically-savvy, and multidisciplinary scientist, connector, and blogger. I met Bora twice: during the Science Online 2009 and Science Online 2010 conference in Raleigh NC, USA, and on many other occasions online, and he would always motivate me with incredible energy and passion for science and people. I would say that Bora is the real science connector, not only communicating and articulating science in its many forms but also connecting people, networks, and the scientific communities world wide.
Born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Bora’s studies of veterinary medicine were interrupted by the 1990s war in the Balkans, when he arrived in the USA. He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day (circadian rhythms) and time of year (photoperiodism). He started A Blog Around the Clock in 2004 as a prolific science blogger. He was the online Community Manager for the open access journal PLoS ONE. He is now the editor of Scientific American’s blog network, organizes the annual ScienceOnline conference, and is the editor of The Open Laboratory, an annual collection of the best writing from science blogs.
He even interviewed me once, as a host of a series of interviews with various scientists, bloggers, educators, and journalists; and now is my turn to ask Bora questions I always wanted to ask him. I had an opportunity to interview him and here are the questions and perceptive, knowledgeable, and fun responses.
Recently the Science Online 2012, #scio12 has finished, and impressions are still spreading online among scientists, bloggers, journalists by sharing blog posts, videos, tweets. How do you feel after this year’s conference? Do you think that some things and social dynamics during this conference have changed comparing to previous conferences? I’ve seen familiar names tweeting online, people I met in person in 2009 and 2010. What has changed in the conference dynamics since then?
We were very aware that growing a meeting by 50% can change the dynamics. We spent the entire year discussing strategies for ensuring that the intimate atmosphere of the meeting does not vanish. I wrote quite a lot about this in my long blog post after the event, especially about the need to make sure that so many new people feel welcome and instantly included into the community – including all the fun parts of the event. We completely changed the daily schedule in order to foster more informal interractions, we (really, Karyn Traphagen) designed the Cafe Room with this in mind, and we put quite a lot of effort in our communications on the blogs (including my post which was recommended to all to read beforehand), emails and social media, to prepare everybody for the unconference format and for the unique blend of serious discussions and crazy fun of ScienceOnline. For the most part, judging from what people are saying on their blogs and in our feedback forms, we were successful.