Ethics and Trust in Science – a Global CoLab Living Room Salon

Living Room Salon

ReImagine Science and Global CoLab Network co-hosted our third living room salon in Arlington Virginia on Nov 29th, 2016.  The focus we chose was ‘Trust and ethics in science’ as outlined in our invitation [click here for a pdf of the invitation].

The invite attracted friends and colleagues from some of our previous network (National Academy of Science, American Physical Society, Industry, former State Dept) and added individuals from the  Organization of American States, AAAS, and the high-tech legal profession.

We were a group of eight – a great number for sharing ideas that really mattered to us at the individual level.

The recent surprises and ‘come awake!’ outcomes at the national level in the United States prompted me to ask if the group wanted to refocus the topic.  Would more critical issues for science emerge from the collection of individuals working on science issues, policy, and agendas?

I was a bit surprised (but also comforted), to learn that the topics of ethics and trust in science was the very thing that one key person came to discuss, and that they were very much looking for a conversation about trust.  Excellent.

The assembled scientists, statesmen, policy-influencers, and legal experts were interested in several key pulse-points in science:  What are we doing for our youth to envision a future where their curiosity can flourish?  What does the ‘outside of the beltway’ world think about the fact that our next-generation scientists (PhD students and post-docs) are getting the stuffing knocked out of them?  What about scientific integrity (and where it is missing)?  How is this impeding science?

The discussion that Linda Staheli expertly guided using Global CoLab structures took the group through:

  • current landscape, informed by the many domains represented in the room,
  • the question “A Society that trusts Science – what would that look like in 10 years?”
  • what are the impediments that get in the way of attaining the vision(s) we hope for?

In breaking down the ‘current landscape’ question, I came up with three nexuses.

I.  Scientists looking outward (communicating science, how ‘the American public’ occurs to scientists, what scientists think of the state of the planet, the state of the future of science, and scientists wondering about what others think about how scientists are trained and how they work).

II.  The Public looking at scientists (are scientists impartial? what about changes in theory, and the scientific method which is informed by disagreements within the science community? are scientists considered elitist? is science expendable?)

III.  Scientists looking inward (what are we doing for the arc of scientific careers? how are we taking care of our own younger scientists at the PhD/post-doc level? what will we do about the lacks of integrity in our own sector? is the scientist a necessary skeptic, who should not trust other scientists?)

Clear trends in how the assembled group thinks, and what they wish for, emerged in the 10 yr vision exercise.  We want a more networked, robust, global collaboration, where scientists work together to tackle the wicked problems and challenges facing humanity and the planet.  Another: for science to diversify such that the American scientific workforce (and the National Academy of Science) reflect the same diversity present in American society at large.  Through building and engaging environments or ecosystems in education, training and employment that support and establish success for all.  More porosity of the scientific world, with inclusion of the general public in both generating and disseminating scientific learning and knowledge.  A one-stop ‘go to’ site that allows quick fact-checking of scientific information, to cut through social media’s propagation of sensational headlines that create confusion regarding fake news vs real news vs hyperbole regarding scientific findings.  And, a scientific establishment that trusts the public.

I have personal opinions, and a strong gut reaction in the wee hours of the next morning, that will be posted here.

-Kennan Salinero
Executive Director,
ReImagine Science

Co-learning and emergence for the future of science

A foundational aspect of our approach to change in science is the concept of Network of Networks, articulated by Mei Lin Fung, who helped formulate the world of Customer Relations Management during her work at Oracle.  Mei Lin’s kitchen has been described as a place for sharing of ideas in an informal setting.

Emergence is the arising of new levels of capability at the meta-level, where the sum is greater than its constituent parts (an interesting mathematical description can be found here in the Santa Fe Institute offering from Nils A. Baas and Claus Emmeche).  Emergence, and evolution of the current constructs of science, are what ReImagine Science is designed for.  We are currently stepping up our capability in accelerating the discovery of prototypes that work in the technological and scientific sectors.

Our survey on who would be the best target group for training in ‘the science of team science,’ and what the content of such training might entail was described here.  We did our own prototyping of this in a retreat July 28-31st, 2016 in Estes Park.  Our facilitators were Lisa Chacon, co-founder of the Oakland Impact Hub, and Mery Miguez, a social presencing theater facilitator.

ReImagine Science Estes Park 2016 Retreat.jpg

ReImagine Science Retreat/Workshop
Estes Park July 29-31, 2016 ~ double rainbow over the Estes Park Conference site at the conclusion of our three day workshop.

We are currently hosting a ReImagine Science ULab, with Mery Miguez and Peter Wolff facilitating our group.  Our intention is to engage the tools created at MIT by Otto Scharmer and his colleagues at the Presencing Institute in the field of science, to experiment our way into new ideas and higher levels of clarity in a shared vision for the future of science.  We will be prototyping together, trying small experiments in what sort of training is called for to engage and shape the future leadership and collaboration skills that will have science find its place on the world stage for the future of the planet.

Theory U is a social technology for helping to bring about profound innovation and change. The focus of this method is on sensing and actualizing emerging future opportunities, both individually and collectively. In this program you will learn how to sense and seize future opportunities and how to connect to the deeper journey of your professional and personal life in order to become a more effective leader and change-maker at the level of systems of science and engineering.

Since it emerged around 2006, Theory U has come to be understood in three primary ways: first as a framework; second, as a method for leading profound change; and third, as a way of being – who we are in the matter, how we look at the systems we are part of, how we look at others, and how we engage ourselves.

Course particulars:

This is a working group/co-learning cohort lead by Mery Miguez, Peter Wolff and Kennan Salinero as part of the larger Presencing Institute Theory U Edx course out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  There are currently around 20,000 registered participants worldwide in the massively open online course you will be joining.  This is the third iteration of the ULab as a virtual MOOC; our focus, and theirs, is to move from the learning phase into the realm of action and projects, producing results we wish to see in the world.

It is an asynchronous, virtual course.  Stay tuned, as we will be looking for partners to prototype training and skills aimed at developing the capabilities and attributes leading to highly collaborative, creative work in the scientific fields of study.  If you are interested in discussing being a test site, please email us at

The course syllabus is accessible here.

Team Science Training Survey – the raw numbers

We posted a question to our network of science leaders, practitioners, policy makers, and consultants.

The question:

ReImagine Science (formerly Yámana Science and Technology) is celebrating seven years of effort to assist the science and technology sectors in building a future that efficiently serves the planet, society and scientists to our highest capability.

Institutions like the National Academy of Sciences have formally identified a need to support scientists in their ability to create and maintain strongly cross-functional teams in their ‘science of team science’ study area (see

Now, under our new name of Re-Imagine Science, we are launching an incubator to provide the training necessary to richly engage scientists in ‘team science.’ We would like to find out from you who you think our best target participant group might be.

We then asked respondents to rank the following potential participant groups:

  1. undergraduate students
  2. graduate students
  3. post-doctoral scholars
  4. early-career scientists
  5. mid-career scientists
  6. senior scientists or
  7. other (who?)

Over 70 people responded.  This survey was not intended to be a statistically relevant assessment of the scientific community’s beliefs.  It was initiated to learn from our highly respected network, and to begin a conversation within the various universities, scientific organizations, and policy setting communities we intersect with.

The top three rankings are depicted below – graphing the choices for top rank, second, then third.

Survey results

First Choice of respondents (by category)

survey results

Second Choice of respondents (by category)

Survey results

Third Choice of respondents (by category)

We found the most frequent selection in the top three rankings were graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and early career scientists.  However, very cogent arguments were made for mid-career and senior scientists, even by some who did not rank them in the top three.  The comments given were that individuals from these cohorts would have the most impact, but may be hard to reach or affect.  For most, the target population they chose coincided with the career level of scientists that person works with directly.  We read this as affirmation of the sense of need for skill development in collaboration and team-work across all domains of science.  Indeed, cogent arguments came in for nearly all phases of scientists’ career trajectories.  We will follow this article with expanded discussion of each potential target group.

Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation & the future of text

tweet of FoT talkDec 9th and 10th completes two days of talks and facilitated Rapid Future Forecasting at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.  The Moore Foundation provided a beautiful setting for two days of intense information sharing and interactive peering into the future of text and technology.  See our mindmap of the work-day (day 2) of the event here.


Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Page Mill Rd Palo Alto


Howard Rheingold (author, teacher, artist), Ted Nelson (inventor of Hypertext),  Bob Horn (inventor of visual language),  Joy Mountford, (UX interface pioneer), Bob Stein (of Voyager, the first multimedia books), Jane Yellowlees Douglas of the University of Florida, Bob Belford, Daniel Berleant & Michael Bauer of  the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Adriano Ferrari (developer, Gingko App), Barry Kayton (of Cognition), Kennan Salinero (ReImagine Science), Stan Gould (Knowledge Communities Federation), Adam Cheyer (co-inventor of SIRI), Timour Shchoukine (co-founder, GlobalNeuroWeb), Jack Park (Topic Mapping), G. Pascal Zachary journalist, author and teacher of  Arizona State University, Jeff Conklin (CogNexus, Dialog Mapping), Pete Forsyth (Wiki Strategies), Mark Stahlman (the Center for the Study of Digital Life) and Frode Hegland, (teacher and developer of Author), and many more created a two day journey that was based in a deep appreciation of Doug Engelbart’s ‘Mother of All Demos‘ nearly half a century ago ~ Dec 8, 1968.

Most of the people at this combination of rapid-fire presentations (10 minutes at the mic, followed by 5 minutes of reflection or questions), followed by a hands-on work day, had worked with or knew Doug Engelbart at one time or another.

ReImagine Science co-organized this event in our work to create bridges between the hi tech sector and basic scientific research.

Science of Team Science National Academies webinar

National Academies of Science is sharing its webinar discussing the Science of Team Science report.
Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science
September 18, 2015
(9:00 am – 3:00 pm)
from the Keck Center in Washington, DC

The report, which came out earlier this year, can be accessed
at the National Academies of Science site here.
Science of Team Science

Various scientific agencies and funders are looking at how to get collaboration whilst still running under our current incentives and rewards (the ‘prestige systems’ of how we do science). Amy Friedlander, of the National Science Foundation: they “do not align well.”

Further, universities from the department to the dean level do not know how to fit team-work productivity into tenure and promotion informing.

Additionally, scientists have not historically gotten leadership or management training during their academic careers. This is a burgeoning domain, as several organizations now have offerings in this area. ReImagine Science is most familiar with UCBerkeley’s student-run SLAM course, or Chem268, which was born out of a ‘Third Space’ event hosted by ReImagine Science (formerly Yámana Science and Technology).

From SLAM’s self-description:
“UC Berkeley is a great place to gain scientific expertise — but that’s hardly the only thing you’ll need to succeed in your post-PhD career, whether in industry or academia. Are you ready to lead a group? Manage your coworkers? Mentor budding scientists? To address the many interpersonal issues that arise in a scientific workplace, UC Berkeley grad students in STEM fields founded SLAM: Science Leadership and Management.”

Yet as Dr. Amy Friedlander put it, it is the quality of the scientific output, and its potential impact on society, that drives the movement to team science.

Keynote, UC Berkeley – ‘The Art of Collaboration’

Berkeley Sep 2015 keynote room

The Art of Collaboration from Kennan Salinero

As executive director of ReImagine Science, I was honored to be selected for the keynote at UCBerkeley’s recent Career Colloquium.

The September 1st event focused on emergent trends of collaboration.  Collaboration is a desired attribute featured in approximately 80% of current job posts for PhD scientists, according to panelist Andrew Green, a career coach at UCBerkeley.

The rub is that the world of academic science has been built around a model that relies on ‘individual name-branding.’  Young scientists can’t afford to collaborate, it seems, if they want to rise to the top and get individual credit for their efforts, and the resulting publication record that will affect their job attainment.

At least that is the mind-set.  So the question is, what does this do for the ability of science to have a positive impact on the planet, and our ability to address complex, ‘wicked’ problems?

Preparing my talk on the ‘Art of Collaboration’ prompted me to dig deeply into my own beliefs and emerging ideas.  Here I was in the heart of hyper-competitive Berkeley, where post-docs will have the highest chance of obtaining both academicand private sector jobs after they put in their time.  

But would they know how to collaborate?  And can we really make a dent in complex global issues that involve ecosystems, complexity, and science without having a true paradigm shift regarding the limitations of the individual, lone scientist?

I learned I am not inspired by the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition for the word ‘collaborate’:
1.To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
2.To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one’s country.

Instead, I considered the root word’s indication of a relationship with the word ‘elaborate,’ which I like much more:
1.Planned or executed with painstaking attention to numerous parts or details
2.Intricate and rich in detail

What if we collaborate in a way that allows each of the individuals on a team to bring the best of our capabilities, knowledge, and training (intricate, and rich in detail), woven together to address a complex, challenging problem, in an aspirational way.

So I created my own word – co-elaborate, which I define as:
To work collectively and cooperatively
in a team
for higher purpose

Indeed, what if?

ReImagine Science presents ‘The Fragility of Knowledge: Science in a Time of Transition’ at In2Thinking Network Forum

In2Thinking, hosted by William Bellows from Aerojet Rocketdyne, brings together engineers from around the globe to discuss how we 'think' together

In2Thinking, hosted by William Bellows from Aerojet Rocketdyne, brings together engineers from around the globe to discuss how we ‘think’ together

Kennan Salinero, President of ReImagine Science, joined a number of members of the aerospace industry in June 2014 to share what she believes are the major paradigm shifts currently confronting the sciences.

In2Thinking is a community lead by the visionary Bill Bellows, who grounds his approaches to training, work, and workplace culture on the theories and studies of Russell Ackoff, Edward de Bono, W. Edwards Deming, Tom Johnson, Peter Senge, Genichi Taguchi, and other world-renowned business practitioners and theorists.

The In2Thinking network is a robust resource for ReImagine Science, enabling learning to migrate from the highly technical engineering sector into the basic research community.


Rescuing Biomedical Science: ASBMB hosts stakeholder meeting at annual conference

ASBMB HeaderAgenda ASBMB

“Rescuing Biomedical Science from its Systemic Flaws”  by Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman and Harold Varmus noted the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology would be hosting a panel discussion of key stakeholder representatives on April 27, 2014 at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, so we got ourselves invited.

The room at the San Diego Conference center reserved for this panel presentation was fairly well populated, but certainly not packed.

Attendees showed a great deal of interest in the material presented by the panelists, particularly those of Paula Stephan, who authored the book “How Economics Shapes Science,” which she writes about here.

As people stepped up to the microphone, they suggested solutions – ones that would solve a particular facet of this multi-faceted issue.

We feel there is a place for a bigger umbrella to envelope not only issues of workforce employment and grant levels, but to connect to the larger picture of society, as well as societal hopes and dreams for what science can bring to the table.  The large, complex, and accelerating number of global challenges bespeak a seemingly bottomless set of problems for our next generation(s) of scientists – scientists that would be well served by unfettered creativity and problem-based collaborative approaches.


Mapping the Systems of Science and Technology: Tools for Teamwork

Systems Mapping

‘Mapping the Systems of Science and Technology:  Assessing Tools for Teamwork’ was the next stage in convening critical conversations for the future of science and technology.  This hands-on working conference included ‘Tools Tueday’ with an intro to mindfulness training (used since 2006 at Genentech-Roche) and a workshop based on Boal’s work by experts in team dynamics.  We explored a) the importance of impacts of workplace culture on individual and team performance b) key challenges in our systems of science and technology and c) some attributes of effective collaboration.

The program for the event:

Mapping the Systems of Science and Technology

Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012: Innovation – a Global Conversation

Science 'UnSummit' 2012, part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC

Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012, part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC

In our second Science ‘UnSummit’ event, hosted at the Artisphere in Arlington Virginia, we shared best practices and learned how cross-functional teams, communication practices, and open leadership can inform the science of innovation. Our mission was to continue to support innovation and the sharing and development of new ideas at the forefront of science and technology.

Part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, this ‘think tank’ portion of the festival continued to draw participants from various scientific sectors, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the AAAS Science Policy Fellows program, Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS), the Council on Competitiveness, the Rhode Island School of Design, practitioners of Scrum and Agile, and top research universities.

Individual and collective leadership were nurtured in order to develop new ideas and explore current successes on the innovation frontier.

Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012 – Program