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May 5, 2020 45 min
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. 00:00:00 Intro 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 00:43:14 Outro
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