The CGAL Open Source Project, a mentoring organization of the Google Summer of Code 2014, participates in Google Grass, a study run by Google and several medical schools worldwide. The goal is to find out if a moderate consumption of cannabis makes software developers more creative and more productive. This study is triggered by the U.S. state of Colorado having liberalized the consumption of cannabis, and the state of California discussing to follow this move. </p>
Who Participates in Google Grass ?
Google Grass is a study run in the Google Labs in Boulder and in selected GSoC 2014 projects: The participating mentoring organizations are based in tolerant countries, such as the Netherlands and Urugay. As Utrecht University is an active member of the CGAL Project, we were asked to participate in this unique experience. Other participating mentoring organizations with an affiliation in Colorado, the Netherlands, and Urugay are the Blender Foundation, Crystal Space, Ganglia, and MetaBrainz.
How Does it Work for Students ?
Students who wish to participate in Google Grass must fulfill the usual GSoC conditions, that is they have to prove their technical competence, their full time availability, and they must be enrolled in a Bachelor, Masters, or PhD programme. Additionally, students who work for the aforementioned mentoring organizations, must be willing to spend the months of May, June and July in Boulder, Montevideo, or Utecht, because the program is supervised by local medical schools.
For each of the proposed GSoC student projects, each mentoring organization will accept up to three students: one smoking placebos, and the other two students smoking different doses of cannabis. Who of the students gets which dose is only known by the supervising medical schools, in order to avoid repressive measures of the country of origin of the students.
Don't be Evil !
As compensation students receive twice the amount of the GSoC base stipend, unless they already live in Colorado, the Netherlands, or Urugay.
Google considers the Google Summer of Code as a perfect test ground for Google Grass. "How else could you run a study with young geeks at such a scale" comments Robert Rauch, head of Google's human ressources department. Depending of the experience made in the GoogleLabs in Boulder, and with GSoC 2014 and 2015, and depending on the evolution of the legislation in California, Google plans to offer cannabis in its offices, just as it does now with apples, candy bars, coffee, tee, and softdrinks.
As said Robert Rauch, "Google Grass will make us the coolest employer again, and it will reconcile us with Haight Street, after the corporate shuttle bus clash we had with the poeple of San Francisco."
It already today makes Blender, CGAL, Crystal Space, Ganglia, and MetaBrainz the coolest mentoring organizations of GSoC 2014.