Panel discussion on „Open Science in a Time of Global Crises“

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Panel discussion on „Open Science in a Time of Global Crises“
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The Open Science Conference 2021 is the 8th international conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science. The annual conference is dedicated to the Open Science movement and provides a unique forum for researchers, librarians, practitioners, infrastructure providers, policy makers, and other important stakeholders to discuss the latest and future developments in Open Science. #osc2021
thank you david good afternoon everybody good afternoon to this panel discussion on open signs in times of global crisis the goal of the discussion is to see to to explore how open signs can help overcome global crisis such as the corona pandemic but there is only one perspective the other perspective is that we also want to highlight the implication of such engagement for researchers applying open science principles to address global crisis with me on the panel are four renowned researchers and i would like to introduce them to you some of you um have already given a
presentation here so you might be known to the audience and i would like to start with anna on our passage she's acting uh chief of science policy and partnerships section at the division of science policy and capacity building at the unesco headquarters in paris hi anna welcome to this panel let us know where are you now at the moment yes hello klaus i'm here in paris uh actually in the office today uh usually at home these past few months but today i'm here in uh in in the office uh kind of a strange feeling in unesco headquarters which is quite empty now and usually all bubbly so yeah here calling from paris yeah i'm also in the office empty here in cbw also i'm here because here i have three different internet connections so i doubt that i will have any technical problems that is the reason why i went to the cpw this afternoon next panelist is jessica jessica polka she serves as executive director of asa bio a research driven non-profit organization working to promote innovation and transparency in life sciences publishing in areas such as pre-printing and open peer review jessica where are you thanks klaus i'm in my home office in boston massachusetts where the snow is currently coming down uh we've had quite a lot of winter weather over the past few weeks so i'm very happy to be here today okay so we keep our fingers crossed that the snow will not freeze the internet connections okay and our next panelist is paolo mazutzo she's a data scientist for a corporate organization an independent researcher by the institute of globally distributed open research and education and spends a lot of free time for advocating for free and fair access to knowledge paola where are you hi there hi everybody i'm ingente belgium and i'm at home like i've been for the past few months as well we also had a little bit of snow last week and now it's completely gone okay same here today is a sunny day here in northern part of germany i can look out of my window i see the baltic sea i have a fantastic view and i hope it's the same in in again these days how is it in berlin tobias i guess you are based in berlin is that correct yes tobias is a systems biologist he is working for the for the max del brick center for molecular medicine and he has a strong attitude for open social innovation and digitization so how is it in berlin these days well it's also quite sunny today um the snow that was here for the last few days is now completely gone again um it's almost like springtime actually and yeah i'm sitting in the institute but also in a single office today so yeah okay okay perfect before we start i would like to invite the audience to also contribute to this panel on an ongoing basis please submit your questions to the panel or to the individuals on the panel in the chat i have a second device here on which i can monitor the chat on which i can monitor their questions which come from the audience and i will ensure that um these questions will be forwarded to the panelists so everybody is ready then i would like to open the panel with a question to all and i would like you to answer this question one after the other and um to start with um well as you know the objective of the panel is to showcase how each of us can apply open science principles to help or to contribute overcome the current global corona pandemic maybe you want to share with us what is your contribution to apply open science to overcome the current global pandemic and let me start with paula yes thank you very much i think it's a it's a very interesting question and uh i wish that i had uh a list of tangible actions with um all the effects that these actions have had but unfortunately i have to share with you some failures as well as some success stories um when i look at what i personally do so as you said already klaus i'm a data scientist by day and an open access and open science advocate by night and one of the things that i believe has really has really shown to be to be clear to everybody in this very difficult times is that citizens have the right and have the need to know what's going on so one of the things that i have been involved with on the front line almost is with a very big campaign that we launched in italy because yes i am sitting in in belgium and i follow of course um belgium life and the belgian news and the world but i'm italian so i also care very much about what's going on in italy and we have launched a couple of months ago a big campaign uh which basically asks the italian government to open up to the matter and to the limit that it's possible all the data around the uh covet covered 19 trends because one thing is to share numbers and to share dashboards and to share infographics and another thing is also to give the people the means and the tools to be able to cope with this information to be able to cope with everything that this information tries to to to to give across so um i would like to say that this has been a very um somehow successful campaign in the sense that we have collected many many signatures so we have talked at the senate there are um actions that are being taken places and politicians and policy makers that are listening to our demands and our rights um but it has also been on the other hand very tiring because um you would believe that these rights and all the digital rights of transparency and open communication would be there by default and unfortunately this is still not the case but yes so my major contribution and the thing that i believe in most is the disclosure of data open data wherever and whenever it's possible yeah we will come to um how well we are heard by the policy makers in in the next uh questions thank you very much for this intro statement and jessica what's your contribution asa bio focuses uh especially in the last year on the use of preprints which have undergone a lot of attention during the covet 19 pandemic and played a major role in not only accelerating discoveries that have led to treatments and our understanding of the virus but also impact policy in a way that they previously have not done before you know really for the first time many people outside of basic biomedical research are either looking at pre-prints reading news articles that discuss pre-prints and you're being confronted with literature that has not yet undergone the peer review process so i think this presents challenges in communicating the process of science to a broad audience but it also raises the need for there to be clear information available about what preprints are the servers that are offering preprints the screening policies at those servers so for our part um we maintain a list of the policies and practices of preprint servers we maintain resources to try to help people understand the potential uses of preprints and how they fit into the broader communication landscape we started a project called preprints in the public eye where we convened stakeholders to talk about how preprints are represented in the media and how they can be more clearly labeled by both preprint servers researchers and institutions who are discussing them and journalists as well we also are really encouraged by the emergence of many peer review initiatives or commenting initiatives some of which have sprung up at individual universities and others that engage early career researchers and others and we're really interested in promoting more engagement with this type of commenting because you know there's
this type of community feedback on preprints is really essential to help put these things into context you know in the absence of a very rigorous screening process which enables preprints to be really fast this type of open discussion and open communication around the meaning and interpretation of preprints is really essential to help readers put them into context so our yeah in brief i would say that pre-prints and the review of preprints is something that we are working to try to promote and ensure that their use is productive as possible thanks a lot that's a great initiative jessica thank you very much for this intro statement and tobias what is your contribution in terms of design um so we started when when the epidemic reached germany there was a big hackathon via versus virus and there was a great need to increase testing capacity so i stood with other people in the lab and we thought okay let's just use all our cyclers and everything we have um and we came across many other people um who had the same idea so we started a platform called lab hive and the goal is to bridge the gap between research labs and diagnostic labs basically so that you can freely share resources and also knowledge i mean people who can do these tests are also a resource so to speak and um we want to to um yeah make sure that the tests reach the places where they are really needed and um this this was our first goal and the second goal was to um address the issue that you can only manage what you can measure and um also measuring test capacity this in germany especially it's a very s relatively slow process um there's one report in a pdf file once a week um where you can get these numbers but if you really have to manage a pandemic you need access to this this information very fast and in a very localized manner and this is something we are trying to implement now but this is the same it goes in the same direction as as paulo mentioned this is also a critical resource and governments they yeah they tend to try to keep these informations a bit boxed in um [Music] and then there are also many many other interest groups of course involved in that and so this is this is quite a challenge i mean there are there's progress in terms for example in hospital capacity there's a really kind of daily life view in germany now um but yeah our goal is really to build um our focus is of course not only germany but um at the moment we have the best insights into the market there also and i mean testing and health capacities are of course also a big market in the end and this is also something you you have to address when you want to just disseminate information and to be as if you say a sharing of resources do you mean computing capacity so that you have built up like a virtual hyperscaler with connecting all the your machines to one another or is it more about storage capacities or any other types of resources um it's more really the focus is pcr test resources so people who can do these tests the materials you need the devices you need for one use case for example imagine you have a lab and you do a lot of pcr tests and your cycler breaks down in a diagnostic lab and you know okay well across the street there's a university and they surely have a lot of these devices but you don't know who to ask yeah right i see and understood this then helps and now anna what is your or unesco's contribution to overcome the current global pandemic uh thank you for that question um i i i'm gonna just focus my answer to what our section in our division has been doing because unesco as you know has been very much involved in different aspects around the crisis on the front of the education of culture and then communication and sciences there's a lot of action from unesco as a u.n organization but i will focus here really on open science and what our section has been doing i think the most important part really advocating for openness uh in the times of kobe 19 but also kind of trying to use this opportunity in a way to say this is something that needs to become a norm and not only in the crisis situation should we strive to have scientific knowledge that is more open that is more accessible that is more participatory that um that you know applies these principles of spoken science so very early um in the crisis i think it was in march last year actually unesco convened this big meeting of ministers of science technology and innovation to advocate for openness of scientific data results etc and in some countries it it really did made an effect and they did open some of the platforms and some of the data that they have in other countries it has followed a process that that it followed but i think it was a very very good starting point to kind of advocate for open science in times of of crisis we had some 130 member states at the ministerial level present it was an online conference um and it really did make a lot of waves uh at the international level similarly in october last year our director general together with the director general of the world health organization and the united nations high commissioner for human rights they've launched an appeal for open science um in combating quote 19 with additional you know kind of recommendations to countries as to what that would mean so really at that highest level at the u.n uh an another call was launched uh in favor of open science and then of course um as i was saying in the in the opening for those who who were here before uh we were just starting this process of uh global recommendation on open science and it kind of came in in a good time because people were very much confronted with what it means and how it can be used and how you actually do need an international framework for open science to implement and operationalize open science as we move along and to make it as just and as fair as possible because as we saw there's a lot of benefits from open science and opening data and information but it also comes with a lot of responsibility accountability and the need for um fairness and and equitability so the the process i think of developing the recommendation in a way benefited from the situation we really had regional consultations that were extremely rich lots of people came on board because the global situation has made people very much aware of what uh of what it actually means um and then of course we had other initiatives more concrete into trying to open access uh to certain databases point our member states uh to certain platforms uh doing some trainings for uh open data open uh open access etc and also a big portion on open educational resources because that was really uh one of the key issues uh that we saw were extremely important in this crisis for students but also for all the other stakeholders in the landscape in the world okay thanks a lot the first questions from the audience are already coming in after your intro statements so i will just take two of them the first one is uh as follows are there existing best practices for large scale decentralized kobit 19 open analysis in one or the other
research institute on a local regional or international level by discipline or otherwise focused what do you see as circumventable obstacles maybe that is a question i would like to forward to to be us first it's so the question is do you are you aware of any best practices for a decentralized uh with 19 open analysis um i mean analysis can be a broad thing if you if you mean data of course for example for the new variants now popping up we have gsate um which is a big storage for sequence data um then there's 19 which is a basically a huge mailing list uh where people can contribute to specific tasks which is another thing um i hope this goes into the direction of the questions anybody else from the panel who wants to add on that okay then i um go to the next question which i think jessica could be well answered by you and the question is that there are already ready and functionally good open peer review systems for kovit related manuscripts why is uptake still so slow it's a fantastic question and i wish that i knew conclusively the answer to this um i i think that there's a few things at play number one is that we i i think in many areas of science we don't really have a culture for openly criticizing one another i think we're very used to having a situation in which peer review happens behind closed doors where reviewers are anonymous and i certainly can appreciate how it's important to protect the identity of people who are junior in their career vulnerable for various other reasons um but you know in in traditional journal peer review we have a an editor who acts as a moderator and ensures uh you would hope at least a certain level of civility in the discussion um i think that there is a concern coming from authors that perhaps open peer review might be um kind of unprofessional or it might actually make authors you know look bad even if it is professional as a result of the fact that so few of the concerns um and questions that we have about science are actually aired publicly um you know i think that we have a uh real kind of perhaps as a holdover of the system of publishing a static version of record we're making corrections um and you know any changes to that manuscript is highly stigmatized and can result in a you know retraction which is considered to be um you know something that ideally you would want to reduce that barrier and make people more comfortable about changing their science uh or changing their reports as their understanding evolves and this is something that is enabled of course by preprints um so all of this is to say that i think that there that we there's a large cultural shift that i think needs to happen um you know obviously researchers are extremely taxed in their time as well um you know i think that uh there's something um you know there's a sense of duty and responsibility that i think researchers have when there is an editor inviting participation in the traditional peer review process but um to provide unsolicited comments on a preprint is i think some something else there's the kind of the social calculus of deciding to do that or not is different and of course there are high profile cases of preprints which have either been withdrawn for example there's a preprint about spike protein similarity to hiv which received dozens of comments within a very short period of time so i do think that there is a point at which the urgency of commenting surpasses these social inhibitions but the question now becomes how can we apply um you know much of the effort that is already being placed in reading papers and translate that into actionable feedback and helpful context for readers i think it's a question of normalizing this behavior and practice creating some incentives both possibly you know social incentives for know recognizing and appreciating this work um but yeah i'd be curious to hear other opinions on this as well are there other opinions on the panel yeah i wanted to add i think jessica makes of course splendid points um and i i believe that there are two things in the the one is the fact that we as researchers are not used enough to talk about failing talk about the mistakes we make the errors we make because with years with centuries of science we've built the system where everything needs to work a while we know that actually every day a lot of experiments simply fail that errors slip through manuscripts i mean we are humans thinking the opposite would be would be actually the mistake so we're not used enough to talk about failures but we focus too much on doing excellent science and everything that works just fine and the other thing is that i believe there's still a lack of professional training in doing peer review we take for granted that people are going to learn it on the job i mean i learned to do professional i hope peer review because the certain point my pi threw me under the bus and he told me here i have a couple of requests for peer reviews you do the topic you do them provide as many insights as you can but i mean that's not really it's it's a much more complex and profound um dynamic and process so i also believe that early career researchers students who want to pursue this type of career need to to be trained as as early as possible into construct constructive feedback constructive criticism um which basically boils down to what jessica did was saying how do we approach peer review professionally and not just you know writing comments because it's it's it's it's possible you don't just say something because it's possible you need to support it as well so it's it's a phenomenon that takes training and skills and those needs to be properly developed so if uh i mean what you said is we don't have a culture of failure in the science system there is the lack of professional peer review competences and this actually brings me to the next question from the audience which received a couple of votes and maybe that's also a reason why we are so slow in taking up the new possibilities like open peer reviewing open preprints and the question is this global crisis has shown the many benefits of open science that is clear i think we all have seen that how can we ensure that we do not go back to the old old days when this is all over so maybe there is one reason why we are so slow in taking up the new normal because we want to go back to the old normal once the pandemic is over so who do we need to convince that this should be the new normal that open sign should be the new normal and and and how and i think paula you you made a good exercise with the campaign you started in italy right um yeah i mean it's it's as a matter of fact at the end of the day it's indeed an exercise right because if you want this it's obvious that when this pandemic started we as society we as a world were not prepared in many possible ways we we didn't see it coming of course and we were not prepared most of governments were not prepared citizens were not prepared even scientists were not prepared but somehow we managed to you know preprints uh open data collaborate let's speed up let's put our brains in motion together because we need to get out of this dark time as soon as we can as fast as we can how do we make sure now these lessons that we have learned the stay we would have to convince a lot of people actually um i still believe that we are not there and indeed klaus as you say the campaign that i'm talking about to ask the italian government to open covet 19 data is just one of the all possible exercises and that's what i believe that the voices of of of people who do activism the voices of people who advocates for open science
right now are really important and chances that these voices are going to be heard like anna was saying now chances are higher than wherever before because now we're talking about this now the conversation has shifted and i don't believe the conversation will shift back but the practice needs to stay actually it needs to even improve i believe anna can you add on this yeah if if i may um sure i i agree i agree with paula and i think what is really important moving forward is uh first there is not just one person or one entity or one stakeholder to convince it really is the the the open science system really is composed of a lot of different players and i think that is also something that has come out very clearly uh during the current pandemics and even though we talk about open science broadly here very often even the communities within open science are kind of working in a in a separate way there's open access there's open data there is open software and even they don't necessarily come come together as much as they should and i think what is really important at this stage is to also address some of the challenges and some of the um some of the things that people just did not understand correctly about open science uh i think we as you were saying about failures and how we have to you know own them as well also owning potential risks of opening science of open science the challenges that we come talking about it openly is also something really important because otherwise there will always be those who will not advocate for it because they haven't really understood it or because they have encountered the problem that maybe the others have not so really being very clear about what the challenges are and how to go around them sharing experiences talking about it's an it's an evolving process right we don't really know uh how it's going to work and also i think at least from our perspective kind of a global perspective it's very important to respect the diversity uh from which every country every discipline every actor is coming from so it's it's it's not a one fits all approach there is not like a global recipe as to how we do open science but we we have to kind of um have a conversation about it and allow for the diversity of you know pathways to open science to happen to happen as well because just saying now you have to transition to open science it cannot happen i mean it will be very very difficult but you know having this pedagogical approach along the way and taking the time to explain different issues ipr's uh preprints you know how do the citizens come in it's not like they're going to uh you know diminish the quality of science open evaluation it doesn't mean that activists are coming in and evaluating scientific research and therefore so there is a lot of things that need to be explained um that people have also seen during these pandemics and i think this is going to be the most critical part going forward to ensure that we keep on on this path towards open science sciences okay thank you and anna in in your intro statement you mentioned that you had a lot of support for your process to establish the open science recommendations because there was the corona pandemic and everybody now perceives open signs as a good facilitator to overcome the corona pandemic and there is a question related to this and this question is how do we fight open washing to ensure that open science is not just a thick leaf so that you know we wrap everything into open signs and then it goes through and that would be as the question uh put it open washing washing that's not what we want so how how do you think can we overcome this risk i i think it ties a little bit back to what i was just saying and that is to be clear about what open science is what it's not uh where the benefits are for whom the benefits at which stage and how it's a complex process and and i think we have to communicate about it as a complex process and not trying to oversimplify and therefore just say okay it's open science so it's good it it really doesn't work like that and another thing is also as i was saying there are so many different players and i think we have to listen to one another in trying to understand how we can best move forward uh together uh and and i think there is um there is a an innovation that has to happen in the way that we not just do science but in the way that we interact amongst these different uh actors instead of saying stakeholders we now prefer saying actors because it really is actors of open science with their different roles to play and responsibilities to to have um so yes of course there is a there is a risk about open watching uh but again let's be honest about it and let's be very clear what open science is not and where the boundaries are and where the limits are as well so did the others um run into such a situation that you were claimed for like using open science as a good label to get through your your ambitions yeah wishes well certainly not personally um to to my knowledge so though definitely i i do think that there is a question about whether any open science tool is being used productively for example preprints are it's quite possible that there are benefits of preprints that are more helping individual researchers versus the community as a whole for example as preprints are becoming more and more recognized they function as a way to claim priority of discovery over research and you know certainly that this can you know help motivate people to share their work early however um i think where this runs into problems is if people are posting a preprint but are unwilling to share the methods uh which has happened in a few isolated cases or where they have perhaps forgotten to upload the methods with the manuscript where there's not open data where um the resources are not shared so that in other words it becomes a early kind of flag planted on a finding that is not accompanied by the ability to reproduce and build upon that finding by others so i definitely think that that is certainly a challenge you know i think that obviously there's also um many many different uh players in the pre-print ecosystem including publishers who you know see this as a way of engaging with manuscripts throughout their entire life cycle um which you know i think is is a motive that needs to be considered in all of this um and you know just just in general that um you know certainly i think that that we have to keep in mind like what you know what the overall goal of this is which is to accelerate science for social benefit to enable broader participation uh and so forth okay somebody wants to add on that if not there is another question which um i think um maybe tobias uh could start or try to answer it because you are working for a research institute and the question is why there is a lot of enthusiasm for open science right now we also see university and research budgets being cut around the world so the budget goes down and how do we make sure that this is not detrimental to open signs activities which are vulnerable to these cuts so the fear is there are more and more budget cuts in universities and research institutes and that this could be like a barrier for the further development of open science and i mean you mentioned that you shared your pcr test resources maybe one reason was not you know because you wanted to become open but because well you you had cpr budget cuts within the enforcer to share the resources no so far this is not definitely not the reason why we share things because i mean just for the immediate need
it should be shared um the the other thing is on the on the other hand there are big incentives now also to to just share data to make data openly accessible there are um really also monetary incentives that you get a bit more of a research income so to speak that you can when you when you actually publish in an open format and this on the other hand then can actually again help to promote open science um of course um yeah publishing things is more expensive when you do it open for the researcher but um yeah i well i don't i don't see it it's a in a general thread for for open science um i see it more as a spread for science of course does anybody want to i just wanted to to add perhaps a thought if i may claus um on that uh it's more of a provocative perhaps thought but if you believe if you think and if you calculate how much money research institutions worldwide spend on on journal subscriptions every year and you sum them up um then maybe you might start to to look into where that there are where there is space actually to to open up some budget you know um so i always say uh perhaps a couple of subscriptions less a couple of cuts here and there and more resources human resources for example to make sure that we know how to manage data because data management is is now a need and the most of the universities or at least a lot of universities still don't have skilled human resources in place that you know tell researchers what does it mean to have fair data how do you publish data what is a digital object identifier not everybody knows these things not everybody has to so do these budgets cut are they going to have a bad negative effect on open science know if we actually find the space to allocate for the money and i think that it's a matter of priority sooner or later we're all going to realize that journal subscriptions are do not serve science the way they used to or they shouldn't anymore just just to provoke a little bit perhaps but yes if i may please us yeah no but but i think um [Music] it is very important to keep advocating for investment in science technology innovation uh in general i think there is this tendency of budget cuts generally not just for open science or but for science uh and and and and there is real need for advocacy uh for the contrary because really we have seen that uh a better investment in sdi systems policies infrastructures et cetera is really critical and i mean it it is critical for times of crisis but it is critical for development it's critical for so many different things so maybe now is the time to make these connections very visible as to how the science contributes to health how the science contributes to i don't know sdgs sustainable development goals etc so that we do not lose money and if money has to be cut somewhere that it's and and it will probably have to be cut somewhere let's be honest i mean we're going to go through some probably you know some crisis in in economic terms as well but it's not cut from the science from the science budgets but possibly somewhere else then if it is cut as paola was saying of course one can one can see how it can be best distributed but the idea would be really trying not to cut the science budgets on the contrary i would say this is the time to actually increase them okay thanks a lot um thank you also to our 161 viewers which are attending this panel and your um your questions are popping up here one after the other so i will just uh go to the next one from our attendees and this one goes to baul and jessica it says regarding your comments paul and jessica about researchers not being used to talking about failures also most funders still give more importance to excellent science which is synonymous with successful science so how do you think can funders broaden their indicators well just to say that i think that this is a problem that goes even beyond funders it's certainly something that i think affects institutions and i think it's really embedded into the culture of not only science but our entire society where i think as humans attracted to stories we're attracted to things that are kind of neat and easy to understand um and you know this is obviously something that affects what we value in terms of scientific output um you know i definitely you know do not have a uh an easy answer but i do think that there's some um kind of practices that can really help to promote open science um obviously a open notebook science might be the ideal but i love the idea of pre-registration as a way to um you know in the case of a journal perhaps evaluate the methods of a study and regardless and kind of commit to giving it the uh you know air time regardless of what that finding is i think the challenge is my background is then kind of very basic biochemistry cell biology and the um kind of turnaround time for our experiments are very quick and so you know i think that it's not that we're publishing a single study that is taking a certain amount of time um there it's kind of an ongoing process of exploration so i think one of the challenges is how do we adapt models like pre-registration to other domains of scholarship where there's less of a commitment to a single a single question yeah i'm curious what others have to say as well yeah paula you were also addressed in the question yes um i think jessica makes very good points as always um i i don't know if i have an unhonest straightforward solution i believe with ears if we keep talking uh um about these these things will also become part of the natural conversation um would become the norm a little bit uh like uh the impact factor has become unfortunately for for many years um perhaps one thing is that sometimes it's still not clear and it took me also a little bit to realize that science science is not static and scientists do not produce products they produce outputs yes so they have to um but they also produce processes and if you look at science as a process that evolves so that self-correct itself and that keeps adjusting um and it keeps changing then you might also think why is it that we only evaluate for example research looking at the output why don't we give at least not enough attention to all the blocks that um that person had to to to go through to arrive to that output and if the output was a or b it was uh yes the experiment was successful or or no the hypothesis was completely wrong and the experiment failed or whatever but all those blocks that were put together if they were put together in a transparent way in a collaborative way in an inclusive way and you know in a responsible way they should also constitute good science so i think we didn't we didn't do ourselves a favor some years ago when we came up with the term open science it sounds perhaps a little bit of a joke now now maybe that i think about it we should have just at certain points start talking about science done in a good way you know how do you do science in a responsible way and then you scrap this open that carries a lot of weight on itself and all the pieces that need to fall into place they automatically fall into place if you also look at it from a from a dynamic from a process point of view not just looking at the output okay so the discussion about excellence
in science raises the question related to conferences because conferences are a place where you can present your excellent outcomes of your research and the question is to you and it's a simple one is unesco planning another open science conference like the one in 2019 i i certainly would like to say yes uh now i think uh for unesco open science has become one of its priorities and we see from member states they're really asking uh for it so yes definitely we would like to have some kind of open science forum or science conference and make it uh a regular thing at the same time you know in different regions um unesco is driving these open science conferences there is the sea like conference coming up in in latin america and in april and i would actually really invite you to also be part of this other regional open science conference is to get a feeling of you know what are the people in open science thinking in latin america many many issues are similar but many are very different and it's really really interesting to get those perspectives from different parts of different parts of the world i think they they really enrich our open science and i like what paola was saying it's not just about the outputs it really is about the process of science and how do you how do you open up the entire process and the scientific enterprise as we say in the science another question i think is also related to to you coming from unesco and the question is is there any initiative from intergovernmental agencies to bring together a new internationalism for science um or other global challenges harness open science institutions are doing this researchers are doing this who will take the lead so would for example unesco be the right institution to lead such a movement well um it brings us a little bit to the question of you know what is the role of unesco in global science um and i think the standard setting function that we have is extremely important and in that sense yes unesco should be the global leader uh in in setting the standards in in bringing this international global dimension to scientific issues including what is open science what are the risks and benefits uh what are the actions to be to be taken another important role that we have is really that we can bring people together and um it may sound something that is a bit trivial but it but it really has a huge convening power unesco as i said in a very brief amount of time we can bring together 115 ministries of science technology innovation so that there is power in that and we can discuss certain issues it can become a and it is a forum to discuss some of the some of the issues that concern how science is done across across the world but i think in our case also what is always extremely important is that we work towards reducing the science technology innovation gaps between countries so this is always like the bottom line of whatever we do and even when we approach open science it is from that perspective we are trying to make sure that open science which is happening now it's going to happen independently of who whether unesco or not will come on board but the reason why unesco is coming overboard make sure that that transition to open science hopefully or attempts to transition to open science happens in a fair way and in an equitable way from which there will be benefit from both developed and developing countries and that we are certain that open science is not going to increase but decrease the gap in knowledge and technology innovation and science are the other speakers on the panel are aware of intergovernmental activities i'm pushing the open science movement i wish yeah i personally love to see more engagement from the united states in uh broad consortia you know for example i'm you know encouraged to see funders coming together on open access regarding plan s um but i uh you know i think certainly that's a hope that i'm carrying forward in our new administration [Music] if i may maybe there are also non-governmental movements um so just to mention juggle just one giant lab who are developing for example lamp tests and other tests um to help support in in the global's house this is something i think very unique it's extremely low barrier access and um all of a sudden you are in collaboration with people from europe us africa um central asia and um you are just starting to develop things together and you send stuff across the globe and just to make sure that these tests are working and it's it's it's a very nice thing i'm not a big part of this i'm just sitting there on the side but this is something that is going on right now and i think this shows the the big power of openness really well thank you very much i have now two questions which are related to open access to the role of the publishers and by the way the latest number of visitors is 189 so almost 190 attendees here to this panel this is really a great success um so that's the big advantage of having a virtual conference because the reach is much much higher as compared to an on-site event so 190 attendees thank you very much for all your questions out there and the next questions i i will read the two because they are related to one another and the first one is can the open science movement be spared major commercial interests or will the same thing happen in the context of research data and other outcomes as in the area of open access to publications so will we have a revival of the failure so to say with how we dealt with the scientific publications and related to this um have the speakers been surprised to see mainstream news outlets reporting on preprints in relation to covet 19. do they need to be more cautious when doing so um i i can certainly try to address that last point um in a sense i don't think it is surprising at all given the hunger for information about covet 19 potential treatments ways to avoid transmission i think it completely makes sense that with science in pre-prints being in the open that journalists and um others would would uh take that on there's a wonderful analysis by alice wilkers from the skullcom lab looking at the way that pre-prints are represented in different news outlets and she's found that in many cases they're not very clearly represented as preprints so i think that there is a challenge and one of the most fundamental challenges here is that the incentives for journalists don't necessarily align with conducting an independent purity process like you might want them to they've been accustomed to an embargo system where they have abundant time to look into a study get extra input before um they can you know recently publish but with preprints it is sort of erased to be first and they're certainly under a lot of pressures and deadlines um so i i think that obviously uh you know understanding this it's kind of i think uh impossible to ensure that every news article that covers preprints is going to be completely responsible in all the ways that we would like to see i think that ways of accommodating this are to for pre-print servers and other repositories for example the infamous yan report alleging a kind of you know human origin of covid or a designed origin of covid was placed on zenodo which does not have a kind of you know up until very recently did not display a banner about what a preprint is and how things are screened and you know again uh that repository um functions
extremely well for data there is no kind of pre-moderation and so forth so um i think that having those kind of uh uh sort of labels to help orient readers about what a preprint is is extremely um extremely valuable and extremely important oh yeah yeah yeah i want i want to add on that i i was also not surprised at all that all those preprints were picked up by media um because uh i i've noticed this tendency of these days in in or maybe i should express a wish of mine the wish of of of seeing in the in the media outlets uh a journalist madrid somehow also a bit more responsible and slower and doesn't necessarily um catch the the fastest piece of news at the highest velocity possible i would like to have two or three news per day that i know where the journalist has actually read understood you know verified the the sources of their data the sources of the information rather than having 150 little pieces of news that are just you know uh not very reliable so that's one thing any other thing to me the fact that all these preprints were not always used with with caution shows once again that there is a gap between science and society i'm i'm seeing this in this special crisis because um talking about preprints with family with my family with my friends with colleagues that not necessarily have done a phd or know what does it mean to publish an article there's still a lot a lot a lot of people out there who don't know what a preprint is and why you shouldn't trust the preprint who don't know what a peer review is and you would expect instead of but no actually you wouldn't expect of a journalist to necessarily know that unless the journalist has an academic background or is a scientific journalist who talks with scientists so this dialogue if this dialogue were in place and were more systematic perhaps also the the abuse of preprints could be limited together of course with very nice big red disclaimer that say this has not been peer-reviewed do not cite do not quote or whatever you know like like jessica was mentioning yeah so i come back to the question with the research data and whether we will lose this race again with the publishing industry um because another question popped up related to the current discussion and this question is as follows many emma publishers academic scientific publishers have provided and this is indeed very true free access to research during the pandemic and also offer open access publication options so that is also something we have experienced so it's not only the pre-print culture it's also that the publishers have you know put an open access license on their publications and there's something more that publishers can do well i certainly think that they could extend free access to all literature i would argue that cover 19 is a really important uh and pressing problem but so is climate change so does cancer so there's all research ideally yeah so that is maybe a good example for open washing because here you know now the publishers if just to provoke they could argue okay we have made everything openly available because for the covet corona pandemic and you argue well you could have done the same for the climate change for you know whatever global crisis yeah because one might also argue okay they have opened up a copy 19 articles so for for the emergency time when are they going to be closed again how much permissive is the license can the data be reused uh are these uh creative commons distributed i mean is it actually open access is it just and fair or you know you label it as open access and i can sleep at night it's a good question okay and there is still the open question on the research data and the question just repeated is that the same thing happen in the context of research data and other outcomes as in the area of open access publication so and indeed like within the european open science cloud association which is the association to set up and run the eos we have a controversial debate on to what extent [Music] companies with the commercial objectives should be included into like the membership and if so um to what extent can they become you know a member of a board of directors because they might you know steer things in there or according to their commercial interests and as you know the eos is very much about the research data management in europe so it's the risk it's super controversially discussed at the european level what's your opinion about that who wants to jump in just a little bit from our and again it's it's it's from a higher policy level at our side um again it's a good thing that uh things are are discussed and that now there are some you know good practices to build upon and there are some innovations to build upon um and and just because there is an issue it doesn't mean that we cannot solve it right uh so if the tendency is for open data open data like any other you know anything that is open is open in a certain context right so if that context is is properly defined if the communities agree if there are agreements etc uh fair data is one of the ways of kind of uh explaining and giving principles to what is open and how but it's also a restriction right open fair data is not all data so um i i think more and more we will have tools to talk to each other to people who have different interests different stakes different stakeholders in this area and it's not something to be afraid of because it's the reality of things so if you do want to move forward with it then that discussion has to be has to be taken and there are hopefully good practices to be shared more and more coming up even with regards to the publishers and the way you know there are some attempts to open up as much as possible but they of course still have to be thinking about what's their what's their benefit so there are some new things to be told about did you encounter in your research you know difficulties with accessing research data because it was you know somehow behind a whatever license wall or is everything openly available for you i mean in the in the general omics field there are huge movements that you publish also your data um and also your raw data so this i i have to say if it's published it was available for me um there's this huge database called metabolites for example where metabolomics data is available and um so in this regard i think also because the these yeah disciplines are relatively new and maybe there's a different culture from the start to say i mean i i would like to take this part of the discussion to to open up among the view to what's like the world and there's a question which says how do you see contributions and research needs around corona in africa iberio america asia represented in the global race against the virus i i still remember it in the when the pandemic began early last year it was very difficult to get any data from china for evaluation like for example to what extent are kids affected by the virus are they more vulnerable than adults we didn't get this information even though the information we thought was available in in china so i think um a global transparency of the data
for for in this particular case would have helped to also speed up the development of the vaccines so how do you see contributions and research needs for the other parts of the world not only in europe or in the us but in the questions it was mentioned africa ibero america and asia i think that what you call a global transparency and global collaboration is certainly a good desire a good wish but i also think it's important like anna was was mentioning a few questions before that we don't we shouldn't overcome the local differences and the diversity of the of the communities right um so that's one thing and the other thing when i look at um when i look at science and the sciences get published today i see that one of the major obstacles to reach this this global transparency is sometimes the language we tend to assume that everything that it's published on the web and that it's in english it's the you know the real source it's in english it's good it's it's i i know how to read it most of us scientists to learn uh how to speak english even though it's not my our mother tongue but like this we are overcoming a good portion of literature that it's published that it's produced that it's that needs to stay in native languages because of the dialogue with society because of the dialogue with uh policy makers so one of the things perhaps uh um would be to to to use uh these days with machines we can do this right to translate and to try to to keep our mind open beyond english which of course we need because we need to all understand each other but not not all the information and not all the resources that the world needs to overcome this crisis are out there in english we should not touch ourselves uh from this idea and i speak in premise about myself yeah to be as um did you encounter similar um difficulties in in your environment like interoperability of the data so if you want to access data from africa or if africa wants to access data from your site that like the point of failure is lack of interoperability i mean of course interoperability is a huge issue but for example now in in fighting the pandemic there is a solution that was actually developed starting with the ebola crisis um this is called somas and it's a pandemic management tool for the local public health service and these this this opens up it's also open source and compatible with dhis2 and all these data standards that are available now and for example all of nigeria is using it and germany struggles to roll it out at the moment but for example france and switzerland are using it and um and fiji is using it and it's it's very yeah very broad and i think this could be for example the nucleus for a global open data standard in this pandemic actually so this might be a good example for that of course between other countries sharing these kinds of data it's also yeah very difficult um because of the lack of really well promoted standards i would say just to add on this there is hope for the future because in 2019 at a co-data conference in beijing the global open science cloud initiative was kicked off and the idea of that initiative is exactly to connect the regional activities with one another and regional activities are for example the european open science cloud the chinese science and technology cloud the african open science platform or the australian e-infrastructure which is the term they use for their open science platform so my activities have started have kicked off it of course will take a while um we have another like 15 minutes and i would like to um to address another topic which i prepared and which i consider to be important to be discussed here in the panel so far we discussed very much what science can offer to a society to politics to itself but now i would like to shed light on the benefits of and costs for science so what does it cost for us if we engage in open science for example does science benefit from open science principle to help overcome global crisis is there really an advantage or will we end up in two-class in a two-class science system some do open science invest a lot or in communication a lot in a transfer and there is another group which is doing excellent basic research getting like you know the higher cited highly cited uh publications what's your position on that and i would like all of you to give a position statement to this question who starts you so i'm afraid somebody will copy the very humble uh photo that i have no um i hope i sincerely hope that open signs would not will not act as a dividing factor on the contrary i hope that open transparent and collaborative practices will make scientists and researchers talk more to each other and be all on the same side which is indeed meet the goals and the needs of our society we should as jessica said before we should never forget this so why do we do science we do science to solve the challenges that we face of course it's also a job it we need to pay our bills and so on and so forth but that's why the focus and the mission is there having said that um i think that uh doing open science does not come without a price in terms of responsibilities and tasks if i publish a data set online i can put it in a pdf entrapped in a table that's not really what open data is i should release the metadata i should make sure it's readable by humans and it's readable by machines i need to take care of choosing a proper license i mean i need to put efforts and time in this as long as the system does not reward scientists for taking the time to do this then we can perhaps start talking about um a unifying factor so the rewarding system is shifting i believe personally that it needs to be shifting even faster towards the promotion of research integrity transparency and collaboration in place of how many papers you published the input factor of the journals where you published which we have been misused for way too long now and then that's my concluding anna it's your position on that yeah no i think i mean i i agree with the with paula and i think we would all like to see a world where you know open science is science uh but uh but it is true that there will be a transition period and that within that transition period there are certain things certain barriers maybe that need to be lifted or addressed that would allow for the entire scientific community uh to be on board with uh with open science practices etc certainly the rewarding systems evaluations of careers um is something that needs to be looked upon incentives uh all of these things all of the system has to be in place to support open science again it's not just the scientist that wants to put his data in open uh publication open open access or data out there that it's not enough the system has to be in place but it will take a little bit of time for that system to come in place and a little bit of learning to understand what is the right system in the right place for the right discipline for the right actor so um i think we have to be a little bit patient also uh and and allow this learning to happen uh as well uh and and in the meantime as as as you were saying remember why we
are doing all this and what the purpose what the purpose of it is it is to advance knowledge even if it's not to address a specific need one day sooner or later it might but it is also to address specific needs of of humanity so that would be all from from my side before i hand over to jessica and tobias i just would like to make it more specific i have been in open science award committees so we had to select those who did the best open science performance in their research and the criteria were not like high-ranked journals it was not you know good conference publications or number of phds which resulted from a specific project it was real really very much science for and with a society and there we have different criteria and we have had the talk of hillary who presented the open science registry of rda and i think there was a question from the audience which said okay isn't that a contribution to divide science into two parts the open science part and the um well traditional science um apart so um maybe that this for a further as a further trigger for jessica's and to be his answers yeah i mean i think that i just want to echo what has already been said on this point that i i think that there are um certainly different communities that are practicing in different ways so if you look at different fields across different fields there's different practices regarding data sharing the adoption of preprints especially is something that does not occur all at once we're at a constant rate but certain communities come together and they establish norms within their own communities uh what um you know how how we practice science are we going to post pre-prints are we going to share our data um and as this culture that typically that happens um not uniformly but within these groups um so i definitely think that um over my i'm very optimistic that over time [Music] it is it is going to be something that will be adopted um because you know i think there is like a strong logic and a strong moral logic behind open science practices that i believe will prevail uh i do think that to the point of kind of making it appear that there are two universes or that there's a distinction um i i think that it is really important to you know to to to base this point earlier of measuring of keeping track of things like it is we need to create the um impression that there is momentum um and you know by doing so we may be highlighting the differences between certain entities that are supporting open science and others that are not but i do think that this is hopefully a unstable intermediate of a system that is in the process of evolution thank you and tobias what's your stake on this yeah so it's it goes very much along the lines also is everybody and especially paola of course um we have a current reward system and the reward system is shifting and it's coming along with open science and um i'm in a very privileged place because berlin with the bh4s center and everything is is going really i think in the right direction um so we we i think um we really need to come um to come to an understanding that along with open science you have many many aspects shifting and there are many cultural changes going on right now and of course this takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and you need people pulling it it's a grassroots thing and the grass has to push basically okay thank you very much i would like to come to the closing question and i apologize to the audience to our 189 attendees out there that i cannot take up all of the questions you have post in the chat i have so many here they do not fit on one screen i really have to scroll a while until i'm down of the list of questions so a big apology is that i cannot go through all of them and now the closing question to all of you um would be the following one could you give a statement a short statement on what you have learned from the current pandemic in terms of open signs and more important how and where can we improve for the future paula could you start i think we have learned or at least i see that we have learned that we can't afford any more to choose there's no question anymore should we do science openly or close to open science is the way to go and i believe we are all on the same page now and the other thing that uh the lesson also learned and that's what i believe we need to do a bit better is how do we make open science a reality what are the tools and the services the infrastructures the resources that we need to be able to do it in a conscious and responsible way which is not just pre-printing and i'm done but it's really putting all these skills and these blocks together to make sure that we transition to it in a in a conscious responsible way thank you anna would you like to give your final statement yeah sure uh no i i also think that we've seen from the uh uh from this crisis that open science definitely is the way to go but it has also shown some of the challenges that we do have uh when things are open when things are out there and we i think to be sure that open science happens in the best possible way and reaches the objectives and its potential we have to address some of these challenges and we really have to forge these partnerships among the different players in the open science field there are many of them we've learned about some that we didn't even know were there before this uh crisis and now the question is how do we put them all together so that we are all going in the same direction or growing in the same way as tobias was saying to be us it's your turn yeah i mean all this openness also um provokes a lot of trust and i think this is one thing we we can build up on and of course now that the scientific process is so much in the focus of the general public um i think this also gives a new flashlight onto the process itself and um where maybe there are difficulties in this process and again the reward system but what is good open science is also not really defined when we are honest and there are no no tokens or badges you receive or something um and we it will come but also this comes then again from our experiences and experience takes time of course so thank you very much and jessica you have the final word before i close the panel um just to echo what others have said um open science has been really essential the covet 19 crisis but it's also shown us that we can't just view open science as putting our work out there and considering that done there needs to be a process of open communication of open feedback of public peer review and acknowledgement that science is changing we need to help readers and our colleagues accelerate that process and make it as robust as possible thank you very much i would like to thank all of you and i've learned from david that we can give a digital applause and i'm sure the 190 people around the world will also congratulate you for your great contributions thank you very much also to our attendees for them the many questions they have raised so that was indeed a very um inspiring panel discussion um thanks a lot and thanks again to you paola jessica anna and tobias and i close the panel and hand over back to david thank you thank you thank you very much