Meet the Frankl team

Elise Roberts
Frankl Open Science
6 min readMar 16, 2018

At Frankl we are incredibly fortunate to be led by people with a combination of scientific and blockchain expertise. Our co-founders are Dr Jon Brock and Peter Godbolt, who are operating with the help and advice of all the excellent people mentioned below. Please contact us anytime via Telegram, Twitter or Facebook.

Dr Jon Brock, cognitive scientist

Jon is the heart and soul of Frankl, and the reason we’re all working towards open science on the blockchain. He’s a cognitive scientist with 18 years experience of research on neurodevelopmental conditions including autism, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, dyslexia, and developmental language disorders –combining cognitive assessments, eye-tracking, and a range of neuroimaging techniques.

Jon has a PhD in Psychology and completed post-docs at the University of Bristol and University of Oxford, followed by an ARC Australian Research Fellowship in Cognitive Science at Macquarie University, Sydney.

He is an Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, co-founded the Australasian Society for Autism Research, and served as Academic Editor of the open access, open science journal PeerJ.

Jon has published 60 academic papers and has also written popular science articles for publication including Scientific American, The Guardian, and The Conversation.

Peter Godbolt, blockchain tech

Peter has extensive blockchain experience, having co-founded and led several projects, initially on Bitcoin and then on the Ethereum blockchain. He worked on a number of high profile token sales throughout 2016–2017 and brings ‘in the trenches’ experience, along with a helicopter view of the dynamics of blockchain innovation.

Kyle Hengst, developer & cyberdesigner

Kyle joins us from the UK. His focus is on web and app development, infused with UX and design expertise.


We consider ourselves very lucky to receive guidance from the following experts in the fields of cognitive science, child development, autism and cybersecurity, and data management:

Prof Greg Savage, Macquarie University

Greg is our expert in all things neuropsychology. His research interests include development of theoretically-informed tests of memory; early detection of Alzheimer’s disease; long-term forgetting in epilepsy; collaborative recall in ageing; and cognition in Parkinson’s disease.

He’s a Chief Investigator of the Memory Program of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), and co-leads the Clinical and Cognitive Stream in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers & Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Ageing. In his academic role on the Clinical Neuropsychology program at Macquarie University in Sydney he trains Australia’s next generation of neuropsychologists — the people we hope will be using Frankl apps in their assessments.

Greg and Jon have been talking about the huge potential of apps for cognitive assessment since the iPad first came out. He’s excited to finally put that talk into action with Frankl.

Craig Smith, Autism Spectrum Australia

Craig is our autism education specialist bringing years of experience in enhancing educational experience through technology including iPad apps and robotics. We’ll be leaning on Craig to make sure our apps have the best possible UX for autistic kids.

Craig works as an education consultant for Autism Spectrum Australia and as national coordinator for Positive Partnerships, an autism education consortium.

He’s passionate about contributing to the building of kinder, smarter communities both at home and around the world, and designs playful, accessible, futurist teaching ideas to reach all learners. When we told him about Frankl he said “I can honestly say this is one of the most exciting concepts I’ve read about in a long while”.

Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson, The University of Edinburgh

Sue is our developmental psychologist. She’s a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and the Patrick Wild Centre at The University of Edinburgh.

Her research focuses on how children develop and learn, particularly in cases where their development follows an unusual trajectory — such as babies born prematurely or kids diagnosed with autism. She is also working on how we can intervene to improve outcomes for these children.

Like Craig, she’s interested in how apps can be used to help autistic kids and she’s published a number of academic papers on the topic. We’re looking forward to picking her brain, not just on designing apps for cognitive assessment but researching which apps work best.

Michael Hoegen, Querix

Michael is advising Frankl on matters of cybersecurity and cryptography. He is a security professional who works to actively identify and manage any risks associated with operational processes and systems, and improve the effectiveness of internal controls.

Michael’s specialties include information risk management, governance, risk & compliance (GRC), network security, cryptography, access control and identity management.

He has a MSc in Information Security from Royal Holloway, and is a Full Member of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (M.Inst.ISP). Michael is also Managing Director of Qerix, a cybersecurity company specialising in information security assurance and technology integration.

Professor Alex Holcombe, University of Sydney

Alex is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney. He’s a world-leading expert in the study of visual perception and a genuine pioneer of open science.

He co-built the PsychFileDrawer website to address publication bias in psychology research. As editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science, he introduced the Registered Replication Report article format. He also co-founded the new journal Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. And he features in this excellent cartoon explaining the “reproducibility crisis”.

Above all, Alex has shown in his own research that open science can be integrated seamlessly into the scientist’s everyday workflow. We’ve already borrowed some of his ideas for Frankl and we’re looking forward to his continued input.

Denis Parfënov, Data Management Hub

Denis is an entrepreneur, open data activist, Open Data Governance Board member and Open Knowledge Ambassador for Ireland and the co-founder of Open Knowledge Ireland. He is passionate about empowering evidence-based decision-making through open knowledge and employment of openly licensed distributed data infrastructures for preservation of discoverable and verifiable information.

Denis is also the founder of DaMaHub, who are working to bridge the gap between emerging technologies (IPFS, blockchain, DAT, distributed identity) and existing scholarly communication infrastructures, from data repositories and linked data to DOIs and ORCIDs. DaMaHub share Frankl’s ambition of making research data more FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) and making research infrastructures simpler, more efficient, and more inherently transparent and trustless.

Jac den Houting, Macquarie University and Autistic Self-Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand

Jac is Frankl’s direct connection to the Autistic community. They are a trained psychologist and have recently taken up a postdoctoral research associate position with Professor Liz Pellicano at Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies.

Jac is proudly Autistic, and is a strong advocate for the autism community. They are a committee member of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand (ASAN-AuNZ), and the Autistic representative on the Autism CRC’s Data Access Committee.

When they’re not at work or writing their PhD thesis, Jac can be found knitting voraciously under the doting supervision of a fluffy white cat.

We’d love to hear from you

If you have an area of expertise that might assist Frankl in its early development, or if you’d like to chat with us further about the project and where it’s heading, please contact us on Telegram, Facebook or Twitter.