In episode 28, we interviewed Leah Silen from the NumFocus organization. She introduced us to the goals and the mission of the organization. We then had a discussion about the different levels of support provided by the organization to its member projects. She informed us about the legal, financial, technological and logistical support that can be provided by NumFocus. Following that, we asked her about the revenue sources of the organization as well as the possible influence from the corporate sponsors over the decisions and governance of the organization. We also discussed of the requirements to become part of NumFocus including details about the application process. We had a brief discussion about the history of the project and the evolution of the scope of projects that are part of the organization. After discussing the governance of the organization, we concluded the interview with our usual questions.
00:00:18 Introducing Leah Silen
00:02:28 Goals and mission of NumFocus
00:03:06 Examples of supported projects
00:03:39 Status of sponsorded and affiliated projects
00:05:04 Advantages of one status over the other
00:05:48 Legal challenges for open source scientific projects
00:07:19 Financial support for scientific open source projects
00:10:13 Assistance to apply for external grants
00:11:01 Paying developers from outside of US?
00:11:43 Revenue sources for NumFocus
00:12:21 Levels of corporate sponshorships
00:13:14 The influence of corporate sponsors
00:13:56 Motivations of corporate sponsors
00:15:02 Some of the sponsors of the NumFocus organization
00:16:05 Technological support for projects
00:17:03 Events previously supported by the organization
00:18:09 The kind of support that can be provided for events
00:19:22 Requirements for new projects
00:21:10 Clarification about the meaning of being a scientific oriented project
00:23:11 Requirements about the team size and strong governance within projects
00:24:58 The application process
00:26:18 Duration of support
00:26:44 Timeframe to receive a response for an application
00:28:30 Feedback in the case of rejection
00:29:12 Are there downsides of becoming a part of NumFocus?
00:30:32 Additional administrative overhead?
00:32:01 Location of NumFocus staff members
00:33:00 Foudation of NumFocus and initial projects
00:34:05 Opening to projects outside of the Python ecosystem
00:34:54 Favourite project?
00:35:46 Initial role in NumFocus
00:36:53 Term duration for positions at the board of directors
00:37:24 Selection process for the board of directors
00:38:31 Leah's vision about FLOSS and its importance for the openness of science
00:39:04 Negative impacts of FLOSS
00:39:33 Most notable scientific discovery in recent years
00:39:59 Favourite text processing tool
00:40:37 A topic in science about which she changed her mind about
00:41:36 Anything else we forgot to ask about?
00:42:54 How to contact Leah Silen