pyOpenSci is a Diverse Community Committed to Better Open Source Python Scientific Software

While most scientists use open source software tools in their work, few contribute back to them, making maintenance of these tools over time unsustainable. pyOpenSci is a community modeled after
rOpenSci that addresses several issues in the scientific Python open source software ecosystem. pyOpenSci builds a community that:

  1. Develops a process to define and vet community-accepted standards for Python packages.
  2. Streamlines and diversifies peer review of tested, documented and discoverable open source software (OSS) that conforms to a set of defined, community-accepted standards.
  3. Builds an inclusive and diverse community around the development and maintenance of Python packages with increased capacity to contribute to OSS through mentorship and training. 

Free and Open Source Software Accelerates Science, Yet is Currently Unsustainable 

Dependency" by XKCD (which if you aren't following regularly, you should!) (CC BY-NC 2.5).

Free and Open source software accelerates science. Over 60% of scientists use free and open tools in their work. The tools are easy to access, often make code and data workflows more efficient and can be easily shared in support of open reproducible science. All of our earth analytics online open education programs are taught using FOSS tools. While a large percentage of scientists use OSS tools, only a small portion contribute back to the tools to support maintenance making OSS unsustainable over time. 

Education & Mentorship: Building A Diverse Community that Supports Open Source Software 

There are many reasons why scientists don’t contribute to open source tools including lack of time and lack of recognition for spending that time on software development (e.g. recognition in the academic system). However, in some cases, scientists who may wish to contribute are unable to or discouraged from doing so due to a lack of technical skills or confidence to contribute in a space that appears to them to be dominated by expert programmers. In response to this, pyOpenSci will build a training and mentorship program that teaches scientists the skills needed to contribute to open source software. Over time this program will build community capacity to contribute.  

Increasing Diversity in Open Source

Some of the same diversity issues that we see in the broader realm of STEM are further amplified in the open source software community. Women, non binary and BIPOC communities are even more underrepresented in the OSS community than they are in STEM. pyOpenSci hopes to engage with various existing communities in our training and mentorship programs with the broader goal of building diverse capacity to contribute to open source tools for science over time.

Building Upon Existing Community Efforts


pyOpenSci will partner with existing organizations in their efforts to build community capacity to contribute to Open Source Software.


Explore the pyOpenSci website.
Check out developer guidelines.
View accepted pyOpenSci packages.

Project Team

Project Lead

Leah Wasser

Leah leads the Earth Analytics Education Initiative at Earth Lab, which includes a professional program in earth analytics, an undergraduate internship, and an open education website (, which receives over 100,000 unique users per month.

Ivan Ogasawara

Quantsight & OpenScience Labs

David Nicholson

Emory University