Presenter: Dr Anne Cambon-Thomsen, University of Toulouse
ESOF 2018: Sharing data internationally and how to reward such efforts
The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is a biennial European interdisciplinary meeting, dedicated to science, innovation and their relations with society. It is expected to bring together more than 4000 participants from more than 80 different countries, and will offer a very unique framework for interaction and debate for scientists, researchers and students, business leaders, innovators, media specialists, policymakers, and the general public. ESOF is the largest inter-disciplinary science event in Europe. The 2018 edition of ESOF will take place in Toulouse, the 4th town of France, Capital of the Region “Occitanie – Pyrénées Méditerranée”, with more than 100 000 students and a rich cultural, academic and innovation history, mostly known as the Capital of aeronautics and space (see booth ESOF 2018).
ESOF 2018 is run by the Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, in collaboration with the EuroScience association, which created the event in 2004 and developed it under its aegis, as a European forum in the style of the AAAS meetings in USA and other international science fora. It is supported by numerous institutions and partners regionally, nationally and internationally, especially by the European Union Commission.
ESOF 2018 motto is “Sharing science: towards new horizons”. The sharing of science is of fundamental importance. This is the necessary step that today allows science to be openly available, to cross barriers between disciplines, communities and countries, to be conveyed to citizens, to welcome their ideas and expectations and to be the anchor of a knowledge based society. Far from being a passive process, sharing science is an active endeavour and implies to recognise the necessity of a pro-active attitude to cross traditional barriers for sharing knowledge and also for incorporating the contribution of citizens into science production and into science policy. This will be the spirit of all ESOF 2018 programme sections, be it in the Science part, the Science policy track, the Careers and Science to business components. Even the exhibition will have its science agora and the Science in the City Festival will be a vibrant demonstration. A specific focus on African science policies and their relations with Europe is considered and the participation of African young investigators and students is seen as one of the key elements of success of this ESOF edition.
As a specific topic, international data sharing will be at the heart of some sessions. Data sharing statements and promotion is a reality but is challenging, especially when considering the many obstacles that remain on several fronts. Among these obstacles is the lack of relevant and recognized rewarding mechanisms for the very specific efforts required to share organized datasets. The prerequisite for data sharing lies in implementing the FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) which can add to the workload of researchers; however this aspect is never accounted for when activity is evaluated by funders or reviewers. Confronting policies and practices in this domain is one aspect of ESOF 2018.
Through the description of international initiatives in the domain of biology such as the BRIF initiative (Bioresource research impact factor/framework), the SHARC interest group (Sharing, Reward and credit) of the Research Data Alliance, or the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) this topic will be featured in this science talk, as an appetiser for debates in ESOF 2018. Participation and influence of scientists and policy makers from Africa in such initiatives is to be increased for a right balance. Welcome !