OAI12 Sessions: The Future of Open Science

OAI12 Session 5

The Future of Open Science

Chaired by Tiberius Ignat and Jens Vigen

The topics of this section are broad, from a visionary look into how the world will look like if the research process is fully transparent, to more specific conversations about the future of scholarly communication, research data, open research and commercialization, etc.


The future of open science aims to distill from existing experience and to suggest a possible future for open science. Tiberius and I both favour exploring a deep and diverse view on what open science and its consequences could be. We believe that a genuine contribution to open science is to explore all of its implications, to anticipate consequences, to manage risks and opportunities, to offer equal opportunities to the public, private, NGOs, etc. Not the least, to distil and reward those working hard and with good intentions for research.


This session is a mix of 15-minutes contributions, lightning talks and a live conversation. It will combine opportunities with challenges, hopes with cautions. Not everything will suggest a world of splendours if open science is achieved. This session aims for ground based experience, anticipation and realistic views on what mankind should expect when science becomes a fully transparent process, from data collection, through methods and software, to the peer-reviewed and public output.

Friday 10 Sept. 2021

All dates and times are Central European Summer Time (CEST)

The Future of Open Science 10 Sep 2021
10:10 - 10:25

Making all science open - healthy lives on a sustainable planet​

Neuroscientist and autism researcher Dr. Kamila Markram is the CEO and co-founder of the open-access publisher Frontiers. Since 2007, Frontiers has been on a mission to make all research openly accessible so that everybody can live a healthy life on a healthy planet.​ Launched as an EPFL spin-off, Frontiers has grown into the third most highly cited publisher worldwide with offices in eight countries. In her discussion, Dr. Markram will focus on the power of open science. She will make the case for why open science is the key to innovation, economic growth, and solutions to a sustainable future. Dr. Markram will look at how open access science led to unprecedented scientific collaboration during the pandemic, delivering effective treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 at a speed never seen before in human history. Dr. Markram will also examine the potential of unlocking all science in the fight for a sustainable future. Today around three quarters of all research publications remain locked behind expensive paywalls, bottlenecking our knowledge economy, hindering societal progress, stifling innovation, and slowing down solutions to the biggest challenges humanity faces: disease and climate change. With open science and a free flow of scientific knowledge, we can accelerate innovation, stimulate economic growth, and find solutions to enable all of us to live on a healthy and sustainable planet.

10:25 - 10:40

The balancing act: Timing openness and commercialization to optimize societal value from university research

Can a research platform with a strict “no-IP” rule – and open sharing of all its results – accelerate drug discovery, engage industry in collective problem solving, and go hand in hand with commercialization downstream? And can this open approach even help address future public emergencies?
Aarhus University is currently embracing an open approach to collaboration with industry – where data, ideas, knowledge and materials are freely shared within the research projects and with the public. In the presentation, Marie Louise Conradsen will talk about the learnings from a current project within drug discovery (called ODIN), she will describe why the university now wishes to transfer the open concept to other research areas – and give her take on the potentials and problems of using this version of open science to i.e. help solve societal challenges in the form of climate change or pandemics. For is the future of all science open? Or does openness drive change more efficiently through careful interplay with proprietary tools and mechanisms?

10:40 - 10:55

arXiv medium as a prerequisite of open access as an important component of open science

Paul Ginsparg recognized the need for central storage of scientific papers and in August 1991 he created a central repository mailbox stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) accessible from any computer. Additional modes of access were soon added: FTP in 1991, Gopher in 1992, and the World Wide Web in 1993. LANL archive began as a physics archive and later expanded to include astronomy, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics. In 2001 the archive was moved to Cornell University and named arXiv.org. In a sense the open-access nature of the arXiv pre-prints can be considered as a prerequisite of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2002, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing in June 2003, and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in October 2003.

The “arXiv culture” stimulates the researcher’s ability to share a pre-print of an article before its publication in a journal. The arXiv deposition opens the peer-review process to the entire scientific community with no delay. A remarkable consequence of this peer review is the potential for experts publishing litigation-related work in what are called “predatory journals”.

The Open Access opens the road to the Open Science – a term/concept that describes the entire process of conducting and communicating science – sharing FAIR data, methods, codes, open practices to allow critical scrutiny, so that knowledge can be validated and used by the whole community. Open science (“open research”) includes not only open access to content and information but could comprise citizen science projects, scholarly communication networks, open source software and open lab notebooks.

How to combine the peer-review process typical for scientific journals and how to protect the intellectual property rights in the realm of openness are Open Questions to be discussed in the talk.

10:55 - 11:02

Lightning Talk: Open Science in the Age of Robotics

Due to the adaptation of technological advancements in our digital society in 21st century, one shall ponder how the open science will be meaningful and applicable to humans by the means of information technology components, ranging widely from wearable smart technologies to robotics, constantly sharing information to its end users. For the future of open science, the contributions derived from artificial intelligence concepts may provide a promising and eccentric road to distribute scientific knowledge respectively, connecting research data across the continents in the form of transparent knowledge process.

11:02 - 11:09

Lightning Talk: OpenLitterMap - A Revolutionary App to Map Litter

OpenLitterMap is an open source, interactive, and accessible database of the world's litter and plastic pollution. Inspired by the open values of OpenStreetMap, we apply the same principles of crowdsourcing and open data to litter and plastic pollution. All around the world, 100s of millions of people have been equipped with powerful devices that can collect data but this unprecedented human potential remains significantly underdeveloped. We are developing a fun, open, and rewarding data collection experience to harness this emerging resource, and empowering many people to share data and be a part of the scientific and public process for the first time. Although plastic pollution was first recognised to have a global distribution in the world's oceans as early as 1975, nothing was done for decades as access to knowledge was restricted. Once social media arrived, huge numbers of people were able to easily share and consume information. This resulted in a huge awakening of global pollution that changed mainstream political dialogue almost overnight. We are doing to data what social media did to information. OpenLitterMap is available as a web and mobile app on all platforms and is free to download and use.

11:09 - 11:16

Lightning Talk: Open Science and scholarly publishing

Science most effectively serves the global public good when the knowledge and understanding that it creates is shared efficiently within the international science community and communicated promptly and comprehensibly into the public sphere. Such open access to the record of science is the bedrock of a new era of Open Science. In aggregate, the current system of scientific and scholarly publishing falls short in terms of market efficiency, economic sustainability, global equity, and monopolistic trends that work against innovation and towards private governance of public assets. The International Science Council is working with its members, national academies, international scientific unions and associations to seek tractable solutions to these problems and to ensure that the scientific community engages more deeply with the functioning and governance of its publishing systems.

11:16 - 11:23

Lightning Talk: Citizen Science as science innovation

We present findings from a current project in the Hout Catchment, Limpopo Province in South Africa, adding value to current discourse on citizen science (CS) and science innovation proposing that citizen science narrows the gap between technical expertise and concerns of social justice and research integrity. We propose a citizen science framework that builds on ideas of the living lab, trust and research integrity – building a new science platform. The idea of research integrity is not only about ethics but also about methods and we propose participatory methods that are in inclusive, just and fair. The frame presents the idea of water literacy – where the material or ‘science’ aspects of CS (dip-meters, rain gauges etc) intersect with the more intangible goods that have to do with human well-being. Considering CS within the frame of feminist philosophy, it is personally transformative with the element of ‘surprise’ that the end point is undetermined – and the process, however much ‘planned’ is unknown. CS in this instance is a powerful emancipatory tool that is able to generate virtuous cycles of inclusion and equality and contribute to innovative solutions in the realm of science.

11:23 - 11:30

Lightning Talk: The Pierre Auger Observatory Open Data release: not only data

On February 15, 2021, the Pierre Auger Collaboration released a first dataset representing 10% of all its cosmic ray data acquired since 2004. During the 16 months preceding the release, most work went into creating a framework allowing for releasing more than just the high level reconstructed parameters of observed cosmic rays. The framework contains: pseudo-raw data at the detector level, a website providing a complete description of the data as well as their recording and analysis by the Collaboration, an event display for visualising the different detector signals, and a series of analysis notebooks that can be run online to replicate the main physics results published by the Collaboration and improve the understanding of the use of these data. This presentation will focus on the importance and the added value of this framework to help scientists or science enthusiasts delve into the data without being discouraged at first sight.

11:30 - 11:40

Music break

11:40 - 11:55

The Tanenbaum Open Science Institute: putting Open Science in practice at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital and creating a snowball effect across Canadian neuroscience

COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how acting collectively and sharing quickly can save lives. Millions of people around the world are currently affected by neurological diseases; as people get older, the number of people that will develop or die from these will dramatically increase in the years to come. Can putting Open Science in practice actually help? Does giving access to deeply characterized cohorts of patients drive reproducible science and empower research participants? Are donors, patients, pharma companies, researchers, institutions, clinicians, trainees ready for that cultural shift? The Neuro is the first academic institution in the world to fully embrace Open Science as institutional guiding principles. The Tanenbaum Open Science Institute is the vehicle to implement this within the walls of the institution, and across Canada. In her presentation, Annabel Seyller will talk about the lessons learned from their initial 5 years in the Open, and what she starts to see as the future of Open Science. She will also share some pending challenges, related to institutions’ reaction towards OS.

Session Chairs

Speakers