SPARC honors Michael Nielsen as innovator for bringing Open Science into the mainstream

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For Immediate Release
January 17, 2012

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

SPARC honors Michael Nielsen as innovator 
for bringing Open Science into the mainstream

Washington, DC – Michael Nielsen, a 37-year-old, Australian quantum physicist, just completed a 17-city tour in seven countries, doing a series of presentations to promote the open sharing of data and research to advance science. On top of that, he spent a month traveling to promote his book,Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science (Princeton University Press, 2011). His talk of changing the culture of science has drawn audiences beyond typical academics. Nielsen’s passion, credibility as a scientist, and knack for storytelling has helped propel the issue of Open Science into the mainstream.

For being a thought leader and demonstrating how doing science in the open can promote change and bringing the discussion to a new level, SPARC honors Nielsen as the January 2012 SPARC Innovator. 

“Michael is an incredibly bright scientist and researcher in this own right,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC. “But he also has a view beyond 30,000 feet of the entire scientific enterprise, and the value that open brings to the table.”  His efforts have helped the average citizen begin to think about Open Science and how to push the issue forward, she said.

Reinventing Discovery was named as one of the top books of 2011 in the Financial Times. It was reviewed widely, including mention in The Wall Street Journal, Nature, and the New York Journal of Books. The book was named as one of the top books of 2011 in the Financial Times and one of the best science books of the year by the Boston Globe.

The SPARC Innovator program recognizes advances in scholarly communication propelled by an individual, institution, or group. Typically, these advances exemplify SPARC principles by challenging the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public. SPARC Innovators are featured on the SPARC Web site semi-annually and have included Ventura Perez, PLoS One, Mike Rossner, executive director of the Rockefeller University Press (RUP) in New York; The Optical Society of America, R. Preston McAfee of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; Harvard University FAS; student leaders; Ted and Carl Bergstrom; Melissa Hagemann of the Open Society Institute; the University of California; and Herbert Van de Sompel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. SPARC Innovators are selected by the SPARC staff in consultation with the SPARC Steering Committee.


SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web.