Motivating a challenge

Reposted from Michael Kellen’s personal blog

Science, Reengineered

In my previous post I introduced the Breast Cancer Challenge Sage is hosting to build predictive models of the disease.  The initial conception of this project was as a winner take all competition, with a clear scoring method and single top model as the winner of the big prize: publication in Science Translation Medicine.  Compared to some of our other attempts to catalyze scientific collaborations based more on preaching to scientists to share data and methods for the better good of society, this approach seems to have triggered substantially more interest from the community, and action by some of the initial participants.

Our task now is how to best harness this energy to motivate researchers, and also form a community where people not only compete, but also collaborate and build off each other’s work effectively.  Many of my recent discussions with the challenge organizers have drawn analogies to the Tour…

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