Open Science and ‘Star Wars’

Mozilla Fellow Julia Lowndes delivers the opening keynote at the useR! Conference

Marine science, the programming language R, and “Star Wars” may seem like strange bedfellows — but to hear Mozilla Fellow Julia Lowndes talk about them, they’re all inextricably linked.

Lowndes delivered the opening keynote — titled “R for better science in less time” — at the useR! Conference on July 10 in Toulouse, France. She spoke about her work as a marine scientist studying squid and the world’s oceans; how R and other open tools, practices, and community support unlocked better science in less time; and how coming to that realization felt a lot like Luke Skywalker mastering the Force.

“I’m a marine scientist, and R as a language and a community has been game-changing for my science and for my life,” Lowndes says. “So much so that over the past six years, I’ve been moving away from my own research so that I can may forward what I’ve learned.”

Watch the full talk below, and find Julia’s slides on GitHub here:



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