It is the job of Richard Gold, a McGill University law professor, to see whether it works. He told me that his first task is ‘to figure out what to counts… There’s going to be a gap between what we would like to measure and what we can measure’. However, he sees an open-mindedness among his colleagues that is unusual. Some are evangelists for open science; some are sceptics. 

But they share a curiosity about new approaches and a recognition of a problem in neuroscience: ‘We haven’t come up with a new drug for Parkinson’s in 30 years. We don’t even...

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