Why open Science?
In the context of pressing planetary and socio-economic challenges, sustainable and innovative solutions require efficient, transparent and vibrant scientific efforts, not only stemming from the scientific community, but from the whole of society. To ensure that science truly benefits the people and the planet and leaves no one behind, there is need to transform the entire scientific process. Open Science is a movement aiming to make science more open, accessible, efficient, democratic, and transparent.
Driven by unprecedented advances in our digital world, the transition to Open Science allows scientific information, data and outputs to be more widely accessible (Open Access) and more reliably harnessed (Open Data) with the active engagement of all relevant stakeholders (Open to Society). By encouraging science to be more connected to societal needs and by promoting equal opportunities for all (scientists, innovators, policy-makers and citizens), Open Science can be a true game-changer in fulfilling the human right to science and bridging the science, technology and innovation gaps between and within countries.
However, in the fragmented scientific and policy environment, a global understanding of the meaning, opportunities and challenges of Open Science is still missing. UNESCO is therefore taking the lead in building a global consensus on Open Science, including a common definition, a sheared set of values and proposals for action.
Why a global UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science?
The Open Science movement has emerged from the scientific community and has rapidly spread across nations, calling for the opening of the gates of knowledge. Investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens are joining this call. The question is no longer whether Open Science is happening, but rather how everyone can contribute and benefit from this transition.
UNESCO Recommendations are legal instruments in which “the General Conference formulates principles and norms for the international regulation of any particular question and invites Member States to take whatever legislative or other steps may be required in conformity with the constitutional practice of each State and the nature of the question under consideration to apply the principles and norms aforesaid within their respective territories”. Emanating from the Organization’s supreme governing body, recommendations are intended to influence the development of national laws and practices.
What is the path towards the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science?
The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science aims to build a global consensus on Open Science through an inclusive, transparent and consultative process involving all countries and all stakeholders. The Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data, with proposals to bring citizens closer to science and commitments facilitating the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge around the world. The process of drafting the Recommendation is regionally balanced, inclusive and collaborative. It involves multiple stakeholders and is expected to lead to the adoption of the Recommendation by UNESCO Member States in 2021.
If you want to get involved in this process follow this link to the full document written and prepared by UNESCO, and get the necessary informations.