JS: Can you explain your experiment in cooperative science, and what motivated you to do it?
SC: Well, first off, the idea that it was an experiment is a tad misleading. It was a personal experiment in how I wanted to live my life — not a scientific experiment. Perhaps I can publish it in the Journal of Irreproducible Results one day, if I am so lucky.
The background is this. After several years of work I found myself sitting on a major discovery in one of the most competitive fields in plant biology. “Competitive” in science is usually code for “cut throat”, and can be associated with scientists who abuse their power to get ahead unfairly. I thought to myself — what is the one thing that those “cut throat” types would not do in my situation — because I really do not want to end up like them. Contacting people I might of scoop seemed like an interesting approach. My colleague, ethicist and friend Coleen Macnamara thought it was a great idea, which was encouraging. I sent emails out to people who I determined were sitting on the same jackpot discovery as me, but I gathered that they didn’t realize it. That got the ball rolling.
Go here for the full interview which is a must-must read!