Within our research institutes, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science, we rely on a set of core principles to govern how we approach our unique brand of science.
Teams at the Allen Institute are composed of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, physicists and computational scientists—each bringing a new perspective to the scientific challenges we face. We operate on open communication, sharing ideas in progress, in programs and working groups that cross disciplines and departments. This continual collaboration ensures that we are leveraging our diverse experience and insight to tackle our most challenging scientific questions.
Much of the work at the Allen Institute is focused on generating big data sets. Our ambitious projects yield rich, robust data that give users the power to explore and find common threads in a way that cannot be done on a smaller scale. But there is no point in collecting enormous amounts of data without ways to share, investigate and analyze it. We embrace “big science” as a community movement, integrating powerful technology into each phase of our data collection to make sure that our data sets can be readily explored. Our data is big not only in scope, but also in its utility to the global scientific community.
We cannot do our brand of big science without the spirit of openness. We share our data, tools and knowledge with the scientific community through venues like the Allen Brain Atlas data portal and the Allen Cell Explorer data portal as soon as it is useful—whether we have published on it or not. Open science is a core principle of the Allen Institute’s identity and an integral part of our goal to accelerate the pace of science worldwide.