Dr. Heidi Seibold

Open Science Communication: From Academia to Industry

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Guest post: Meet Dr Elisabeth Kugler, director of Zeeks – Art for Geeks. In this post she will share her career path and how her work connects with open science now that she is an entrepreneur.

I am Dr Elisabeth Kugler, director of Zeeks – Art for Geeks – a company that transforms how people think about data. We achieve this by data analysis, visualization, and communication. And our speciality is image-based data and strategies.

In this article, I aim to discuss Zeeks' perspective on open science and emphasize that industry does not necessarily exclude open science.

Throughout my academic journey, I was fortunate to receive unwavering support for open science from my supervisors and collaborators. The majority of my work in education and academia involved open-access publications, shared data, and an open methodology in alignment with the principles of open science.

As a first-generation scientist, the notion that science could be anything but open contradicted my core beliefs. And as I progressed in academia, my primary motivation became clear: I aspired to enhance the overall impact and accessibility of scientific knowledge. – I loved teaching, mentoring, sharing – and anything to do with communication.

So, when I decided to move away from the academic career track and form my own company in 2022, I did not want the idea of “leaving academia and open science behind” to manifest in my life. And thankfully, it did not become my reality. On the contrary, I do still work closely within the spheres of academia, research, and science. Be it peer-reviewing of papers or guest lecturing at several universities. We are also involved in a lot of knowledge sharing activities such as via blogs, our newsletters, and YouTube.

For us, a major aspect of open science is collaboration and networking – at Zeeks our most valuable assets are the people we work with - the customers, colleagues, clients – and most importantly our Zeeks tribe. Especially since forming Zeeks, I have come to learn that connecting a diverse network of scientists, artists, and the general public is the most powerful tool to advance science.

But since forming my company meant leaving purely academic work, some things have changed obviously too – a lot of our internal, and most of our client work cannot be freely shared. Also, doing work for free is no longer the standard, but the exception – simply because a business needs to be sustainable.

So, I think for me the main three points I would have loved to know when moving from academia to industry are:

  • To merge open science with industry, maintaining an open mind is essential.
  • Contrary to misconceptions, openness does not imply working for free. Financial remuneration is compatible with open science, and many industries are genuinely interested in open scientific practices.
  • Collaborations between academia and companies often aim to enhance scientific endeavours, demonstrating that industry is not necessarily the "dark side". The majority of companies seek the same goal as academics – the pursuit of quality and reliable scientific knowledge.

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Heidi Seibold, MUCBOOK Clubhouse, Elsenheimerstr. 48, Munich, 81375
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Dr. Heidi Seibold

All things open and reproducible data science.

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