I am delighted to congratulate Michael on his award as a SPARC innovator: http://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/ Here are some bits of the citation (below) but my personal comments first.
Michael is a true 21st century scientist. There aren’t yet many around, and academia stifles their growth. They change the rules of the organization, the community, the values. So, almost by definition, they have to work outside the system. Michael was/is a quantum physicist with an enviable track record but he has given this up to explore the 21C. We’ve met 2-3 times last year and he’s currently (I think) doing lecture tours having written his seminal bestseller Reinventing Discovery http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9517.html. If you get a chance, try to get to a lecture, though you can also see the TED lecture http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_nielsen_open_science_now.html.
Michael Nielsen, a 37-year-old, Australian quantum physicist, just completed a 17-city tour in seven countries, doing a series of presentations to promote the open sharing of data and research to advance science. On top of that, he spent a month traveling to promote his book, Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science (Princeton University Press, 2011). His talk of changing the culture of science has drawn audiences beyond typical academics. Nielsen’s passion, credibility as a scientist, and knack for storytelling has helped propel the issue of Open Science into the mainstream.
For being a thought leader and demonstrating how doing science in the open can promote change and bringing the discussion to a new level, SPARC honors Nielsen as the January 2012 SPARC Innovator.