Programme / Thematic Sessions II. a. Open Science - The Future of Science and Science for the Future

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Day 2

Thursday / 21 NOV

17:00 - 18:30

Thematic session:
Thematic Sessions II. a. Open Science - The Future of Science and Science for the Future
Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Ceremonial Hall
Abstract: 

Session description

In order to achieve equity in sharing and benefitting from science, science needs to be accessible to all. In this context, Open Science is a strategic movement initiated to democratize processes and outcomes of scientific research for sustainable development, equality and inclusiveness. Open Science fosters science as an enterprise that is inclusive and of highest quality. The methods are conducive to scientific collaboration and discovery across scientific fields, taking fullest advantage of the proliferation of data, instantaneity of communications, and digitalization of knowledge storage systems (globalization and digitalization). Open Science is expected to significantly improve the capacity and efficiency of national science and technology systems, increase the reproducibility of research, and may quickly lead to adjustments to the global science enterprise as a whole, particularly affecting science publishing. But the Open Science concept is not only an issue of science being open to the research community, as in “open access” and “open data”, but refers to a science open to society, including through an enhanced engagement with the citizen science initiatives and the traditional knowledge holders. Open Science Initiatives are growing across the world. In the European Union, the Open Science goal is materialising in the context of the European Open Science Policy Platform and through the development of a European Science Cloud. Open access to scientific literature is promoted through initiatives such as Plan S, which joins the open access movements from other parts of the world, namely La Referencia, in Latin America, Asia OA – Open Access, and others. In Africa, the African Open Science Platform has recently been launched demonstrating the importance of Open Science for Africa and for countries that need to strengthen their scientific systems and benefit from the results of science produced worldwide. The implementation of Openness policies at global level holds the promise to increase transparency and reduce bias in scientific research, which can lead to more reproducible research. Reproducibility is a fundamental building block of (open) science. In a 2016 survey by Nature, around 90% of respondents agreed that there is a “slight” or “significant” reproducibility crisis. The high irreproducibility rate highlighted by recent studies is alarming both to the editors of scientific journals and the funders of academic research. The first see the credibility of their journal threatened while the second see their process for selecting excellent science questioned by the public. Reproducibility has recently become a major issue for several scientific domains: biomedical sciences, humanities and social sciences, astronomy, psychology sciences to name a few. There is no single cause of irreproducibility. In some cases, poor experimental design, inappropriate analysis and questionable research practices can lead to irreproducible results. Cultural factors, such as a highly competitive research environment and the high value placed on novelty and publication in high-profile journals, may also play a part. Although the pace of changes toward more reproducible research is accelerating, the promotion and support of tools for open research practices and more robust evidence is critical for the future of Open Science. With increasing number of Open Science operational, policy and legal frameworks at different levels, UNESCO, as the UN Agency with mandate for Science, the ICS as the largest global science organization bringing together natural and social sciences, and EATRIS, a leading European Research Infrastructure for biomedical research, are coming together to explore means and ways to build a coherent vision of Open Science and a shared set of overarching principles and shared values. In this context, the thematic session proposed will bring together the key players in the Open Science field to discuss challenges and opportunities and risk and benefits across the different regions of opening science to the world. The results of the discussions will feed into UNESCO and ISC’s programmatic, operational and normative actions on Open Science.