In focus: Jon Tennant

On open science and life as a nomadic researcher

Starting off our new series of written interviews with researchers at IGDORE: Dr. Jon Tennant, rogue paleontologist, nomadic open scientist, founder of PaleorXiv and Open Science MOOC, originating from the UK and currently residing in Paris, France, after several years in Germany. We asked Jon to describe a typical workday as a nomadic researcher, and we asked what he would like to see more and less of in the current movement for open and replicable science.

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Jon Tennant

I make sure to take a lot of personal downtime, reading, writing, and meditating. This means that when I have my uptime for work, I am at my absolute best and work more effectively than if I were doing a 9–5.

1. Tell us a bit about your professional background.

2. Why did you join IGDORE?

A lot of the debates happen on Twitter, which is not a good place to have civil, constructive, and thoughtful conversations. One consequence of this is that it looks like there is a lot of in-fighting among whatever the ‘open science community’ is, which is not a good appearance.

3. You have a quite nomadic lifestyle. How do you combine that with your scientific work? And how does a typical work day look like?

4. The movement for open and replicable science is growing quickly, in particular in some disciplines and some countries. Is there anything you would like to see more or less of in this movement?

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Jon Tennant’s workdesk for the day — in Paris, France.

5. How would your ideal work life look like? Where would you live, where would you work, and how many hours would you work per week?

6. What are your professional plans for the next few years?

7. What would you like to see more or less of by (or within) IGDORE?

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