“It is essential that Open Science is introduced bottom-up; this is the only way for sustainable change”Name: Prof Sverker Holmgren
Position: Professor in Scientific Computing at Uppsala University, member of the Uppsala University Council for Research Infrastructure. Director of the Nordic eScience Globalisation Initiative (NeGI) at NordForsk
Institution: Uppsala University and NordForsk
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An interview with Prof Sverker Holmgren on 23 June 2017
Who or what (project / service) inspires you and makes you optimistic about the future of Open Science?
I think the development towards an open science research system is just starting. Funders and institutions in major countries like the UK and US are rapidly adopting Open Science, and also the European Commission is pushing this. Sweden is not at the forefront of the development, but other Nordic countries like Finland and Norway have made significant progress, in slightly different ways.
What would happen if public research data remained closed?
Not transferring to an Open Science research system would mean that the potential in publicly-funded research is not fully utilised. If research data is not reused, research efforts will be duplicated and the collective memory in the research communities will be reduced. Also, it will be more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to replicate research results, and the quality of research will be reduced.
What do you think a world with far more Open Data would look like?
A world with far more Open Data would result in a number of new services and tools that will help citizens in their everyday lives. However, I think that the main effect here comes from Open Access and interfaces to public – and possibly also commercial – data with an origin outside academia. For example, providing access to meteorological data, data from public transport or data from the health system (with appropriate anonymisation and other precautions) can result in many new innovations. I do not think that opening up research data to the general public will have a big and immediate effect on society at large. Research data will probably also in the future be mainly used by researchers.
Copyright: Sverker Holmgren. Creative Commons CC-BY Licence.
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