Keynote 03 2021

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29 June 2021 | 14:15-14:45 | Studio Bruges, streamed to all locations | Video recording | Transcript
Consolidated programme 2021 overview / Day 2

Open Science to leave no one behind

  • Ana Persic, UNESCO


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>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: We have Ana Persic from UNESCO. It is not a keynote, but rather a presentation. Can you unmute yourself and speak to us.

>> ANA PERSIC: Hello, everyone. I hope you can hear me well.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Yes, Ana. Not so well, your audio is faint. Maybe you can get closer to the mic.

Ana’s presentation is of particular interest to the scientific community, our cohost, in Trieste, which we’re going to visit next year hopefully. It is about open science and to leave no one behind. I was told that what UNESCO developed in this respect is kind of a paradigm shift in terms of how to use, to share science data, research data, and I had the pleasure to follow a presentation you have already gave and I find it is particularly relevant with the digital component for our be Internet governance audience and always good to have the fruitful exchange between the communities.

Therefore, we’re very happy to have you here opening our program. After the keynote we’ll focus on the last focus session, European mediascape – How to (re)create a trusted public sphere? – FS 04 2021 we also have two sessions, workshops related to economic and innovation issues. We’re happy that we can cooperate with the chamber of commerce in this respect, and another workshop picking up the topic of COVID which we have already discussed on Day 0. A forward-looking technology and then we’ll conclude our day.

After this, after we have finished our session, I will be back together with to mass and we will talk about the next IGF host from Poland and give you a nice farewell, be surprised, we have prepared something funny.

I ask you not to leave immediately after the last session but stay for the closing of the day. It won’t take long.

Without further ado, I would like to hand over to Ana Persic to give us the presentation.

When you are ready, the studio host and Nadia will pick up the questions from the audience and chat and forward them to you. Over to you.

>> ANA PERSIC: Thank you. Thank you for the invitation and it is a great pleasure to be back to the conference. We had the pleasure the last few years and it is really good to see the conference going and the interest.

Let me just share my screen.

I’m really pleased that I have been getting the chance to present to you a little bit of the work we have been doing on open science, and in particular on advancing the normative instrument for open science, which is the UNESCO initiative on open science.

Why is open science important? I’m sure many of you in the audience are well aware of the movement towards open science, which is not only driven by UNESCO, of course, but the entire scientific community, institutions, scientists, it is a movement that’s been going on for several decades now, really trying to make the scientific knowledge, data, information more open, more accessible. The entire scientific process more open, more participatory and more inclusive.

We have really seen particularly from this COVID experience that we are still living, that it is open science and science that’s more accessible to everybody, it really is the future of science. Indeed, during the COVID pandemic we have seen the really high importance of timeliness of data, publication, information, the importance of the scientific collaboration and sharing of the information in all of the different forms and the importance of sign-policy-society dialogue in bringing science and also the high importance of the Human Rights to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress related to the current crisis that’s been highlighting all of the different urgencies for science. When I was asked to give this talk, they asked to focus on the digital aspects of open science and it is everywhere, it is thanks to digital advancements and thanks to Internet advances, we are able to share information and collaborate more quickly.

For us, really, making an open science kind of a new paradigm for science, it is something important. We see it as a real tool and to fulfill the Human Rights of science going forward.

As I said, we have seen open science and opening of scientific data and information happening across the world in different scientific communities, but not only scientific communities also the communities of innovators, software, codes, hardware, et cetera. The question is really not whether open science will happen, the question is how will it happen and how we can ensure that it benefits to everybody and that everyone can enjoy from the benefits of the conditions of open science.

In this context, UNESCO, the U.N. agency for science, education and culture decided that there is need for a global international standard setting instrument for open science and that’s in this form of this recommendation on open science. Our Member States of UNESCO asked the organization in develop this instrument, to develop this recommendation of open science for adoption in November, 2021.

What happened in the past two yearS, we have had a series of different consultations, dialogues with all of the different stakeholders involved in open science, including many of the people who are also participating today and we have managed to come up with the first draft, the text of the recommendation, which was done in September of last year. Then through a series of other iterations, collecting different information and then we have had the second draft after collecting comments, and it was then discussed in an intergovernmental meeting which will happen later this year and the 100 countries which participated in the meeting, they were actually pretty happy with the text, made the text stronger and adopted the provisional draft.

In terms of the process, the draft recommendation is about to be adopted.

A few highlights from this recommendation, which is supposed to set the frame for how open science is happening and what are the key actions that need to be taken. The open science recommendation of UNESCO is the first international law instrument on open science with an internationally agreed definition anchor values and guiding principles for open scenes. It is a very important building block for the future of open signs and we’re very happy with our Member States, our stakeholders, management, and it addresses different stakeholders of open science and points to the actions of different levels and it also talks about different innovative approaches for open science and the need to be able to monitor not just open science in and of itself, but also the impacts of open science. Just very briefly in terms of how the open science is now defined in the document, it is defined as an inclusive construct combining different movements and practices to make scientific knowledge openly accessible and reusable, to increase collaborations and sharing of information for the benefits of scientific society and open the process of creation, innovation and publication beyond the traditional science of society. It is a broad definition bringing different access and users of knowledge and creation of that knowledge.

What is interesting, the open science is also defined along the different fundamental pillars, one is this open scientific knowledge. Here we talk about open access to publications, research data, metadata, open educational resources, software, source code and hardware. All of this is under the open access to scientific knowledge.

Then open science infrastructure, again, extremely important for in community in particular, both digital and physical which are fundamental for increasing the access to knowledge to a global community, not just a global community of scientist but beyond that.

Open engagement of societal actors through citizen science, crowdsourcing, any other initiatives that can bring together social actors, also in the development of science. Also this open dialogue with other knowledge systems, and in particular, the – the idea, it really is to open science, to scientists, to open it to a broader community, to a broader society beyond the science.

I won’t go into detail for the different parts of the recommendation and we do encourage everybody to visit the direct site and have a look at this. There are 7 areas of actions and under each action, there are other actions which you will see in the recommendation and that the countries will implement when adopting the recommendation. These are areas to promote the common understanding of open science, to develop an enabling policy environment, invest in open science infrastructure and capacity building, to foster culture of open science aligning the different incentives, we have seen that it is critical for open science to strive for science to be aligned with the principles of open science. Promoting innovative approaches and promoting it internationally.

We have seen different key challenges raised by stakeholders, Member States, governments, government agencies in charge of science and innovation and also scientists themselves and particularly listening to the scientists from the developing world. They have raised several issues with regards to how are we going to be able to implement open science in a just way across the world and some of the really key aspects is the importance of infrastructures, including reliable Internet mobility. Of course, it is a major concern for different stakeholders, different scientists, in particular scientists in developing countries and the importance of international solidarity and collaborations for open science. Then the risks that need to be taken into account with regards to the commercial mobilization of the data calling for long-term sustainable infrastructures that are in the service of open science.

Definitely, the trend, it is to open science, as much as possible, and we have seen the benefits of the practice of open science. Member States of UNESCO, they’re convinced that’s the way to go. It is very important also to make sure that the implementation of open science really does happen the way that reduces the gaps and improves things.

As I said, next steps, it is for this recommendation to be adopted by Member States in November. After that, we start right away into publication and we’re looking forward to working with this community as well to help us ensuring that there is a level playing field for scientists and other stakeholders across the world.

I think I’ll stop here with the presentation and let some space for questions and answers.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Nadia, I think you’re muted.

>> NADIA TJAHJA: We appreciate that you’re engaging with the audience. I appreciate it.

Now for questions and answers, they’re open. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to raise your hand to ask the question directly. We invite those members in the other studios as this studio is live sent out in studio Trieste and Belgrade, so you’re very welcome in those studios to also raise your hand, your remote moderators will be able to capture the questions and send that over.

>> We have a question from another studio, how is the Internet technical community involved in the discussion? If you have comments on this, that would be helpful.

>> ANA PERSIC: Thank you very much.

We had some – I’m not an expert nor technical expert. We did have some exchanges during our consultation, including with the Internet community to the networks that UNESCO has.

I think for the moment, what was extremely important, it is to make sure that we capture the essence of open science directly, that we capture the key definitions, the key concepts directly resonating with both developing and developed countries. This is a global instrument, that we capture also the concerns from different stakeholders and then what’s extremely important going forward, to create a community improving the technical community that will be able to engage.

Of course, as I said, we’re not starting this movement, it is something that’s been going on for a while. (Poor audio quality). Many things exist around these issues. We hope that the open science recommendation will – will give more voice and more push to help with the implementation of the different areas and to bring this open science to different actors and stakeholders.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Are there any other questions from any of the studios? I get some messages here on my phone as well.

If this is not the case, Ana, thank you for the presentation. Just a hint, your audio got worst as you were speaking, you need to do something about your microphone, possibly you are using the computer microphone and I guess a lot of this really interesting topic was not really understood by the captioners or by the participants because audio – it decreased while you were speaking.

>> ANA PERSIC: I’m sorry about that.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: That shouldn’t be the case for the interesting topic. I’m sorry to tell you, you should know better for the next possibility when you give this presentation. Okay.

>> ANA PERSIC: Okay.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Have a good day! Thank you very much for joining us!

>> ANA PERSIC: Thank you very much!


We will convene here at 2:45 and we will give some relaxing music into every studio and then we are going to continue at 2:45. Stay tuned, stay in the room. Enjoy the music or meet your colleagues and friends in gather and have some fun there.

See you later!