the internet has changed science drastically. Not only in terms of distributing knowledge e.g. via online encyclopedias as wikipedia and freely available sources of publications as arXiv but also as a tool for communication through email and lively discussions in forums, newsgroups and communities like StackExchange.
Scientific success nowadays greatly depends on the ability to build up teams with different scientific background and experience. To my mind, the ideal researcher has to seek for people helping him to tackle parts of his problems in which he is not an expert instead of spending months on something, someone else could have been done in days.
So, can't we be this ideal researcher, or: Can a community on a webpage do research by openly presenting ideas and working them out? Or is this not possible due to "stealing" of ideas, lacking institutional structures and the like?
What do you think?