Feb 27

The case for open computer programs

Tag: Informática LegalJoaquim Anguas @ 11:50 am

To some extent we all have the impression that the scientific method makes things move forward based on a set of principles and when one thinks on science, peer reviewed publications and credibility, the concept of reproducibility stands tall.

Making available all the components of a scientific experiment may be a complex task, but guarantees that the community can fully validate the produced results.

In this article from Nature the authors make a reflection on the impact of code un-disclosure when it comes to science.

Much of the debate about code transparency involves the philosophy of science, error validation and research ethics, but our contention is more practical: that the cause of reproducibility is best furthered by focusing on the dissection and understanding of code, a sentiment already appreciated by the growing open-source movement.

Forensic activity cannot fully match to science practice. Of course we can talk about “forensic sciences” as the body of knowledge related to our activities, but we forensic experts (most often) work over concrete instances, not general or abstract matters. But the concept of reproducibility is key to provide support for the basic principles of due process, especially for the impact it may have on the principle of contradiction.

From the forensic perspective we should think about the implications of code un-disclosure in the rights of people.

P.S. If you do the cliking to Nature, don’t miss this.

Via arstechnica.