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Tony Hey: Candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee and CODATA President

My Vision for CODATA

I very much support the three major strategic programs put forward in CODATA’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018, namely: 

  • Data Principles and Practice
  • Frontiers of Data Science
  • Capacity Building

However, given the promising developments of the last five years it is now time to develop a third strategic plan covering the next five years of the CODATA organization. Development of this new strategic plan must be a major priority for CODATA and it will be important to reach out to all the relevant national and international stakeholder organizations for their input. However, in addition to CODATA’s traditional stakeholders, I would also like to learn from the experience of other major efforts in this space. For example, from the US, this could include input from the NIH’s National Library of Medicine, the DOE’s OSTI organization and the NSF’s DataONE project. From Europe, there will be much activity in creating an implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). I would also look for input from other major data science initiatives in Asia and Australia.

In addition to developing detailed plans and deliverables for the three broad CODATA priority areas for the next five years, I would like to give my support to two other areas. During my career in data-intensive science - in the UK with e-Science and in my work with Microsoft Research in the US – I have worked closely with universities and funding agencies in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. I now think it is important to dedicate more attention to Africa where I think CODATA can play a significant role. I am therefore personally very supportive of the existing CODATA initiative to develop an African Open Science Platform and would look for ways to extend this initiative and increase its impact. One way in which to do this is to harness CODATA’s global reach and influence which can successfully bring together countries at many different levels of economic development. The international SKA project will also generate many interesting computing, data science and networking challenges in Africa.

The second focus I would like to develop is related to my present role as leader of the Scientific Machine Learning research group at RAL. There is now much activity world-wide in the application of the latest advances in AI and Machine Learning technologies to scientific data. This is one of the few areas where the academic research community has large and complex data sets that can compete with the ‘Big Data’ available to industry. Extracting new scientific insights from these datasets will require the use of advanced statistical techniques, including Bayesian methods and ‘deep learning’ technologies. In addition, an extensive education program to train researchers in the application of these data analytic technologies will be necessary and can build upon practical experience in applying such methods to ‘Big Scientific Data.’ In this way CODATA can help train a new generation of data analysts who are not only able to generate new insights from scientific data but also to spur innovation with industry and aid economic development. 

While at Microsoft Research, I was a founding Board member of the RDA organization. As an RDA  Board member, I liaised extensively with both the NSF in the USA, and with the Commission in Europe, and assisted in facilitating the constructive cooperation of RDA with CODATA. I will therefore bring extensive management experience to the leadership of CODATA – from my experience in the university sector as research group leader, department chair and dean of engineering, in UK research funding councils as a program director and chief data scientist, and in industry as manager of a globally distributed outreach team. I am disappointed to see the absence of many European countries from the CODATA membership and, through my experience in European research projects, I would seek to encourage these missing nations to become members of the organization. In addition, in my role at Microsoft Research, I spent considerable time visiting universities and funding agencies in Central and South America, and in Asia. I believe there is considerable potential to interest non-member countries in these regions in the relevance of the data science agenda of CODATA. Finally, although I will certainly bring my vision, enthusiasm and energy to the role of CODATA President, I believe that we must harvest the energy and enthusiasm of the entire CODATA community to take the organization forward to a new level of influence and effectiveness.

Read the full statement here


IASSIST 2019 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

This IASSIST conference is about a lot of “firsts.” This is the first time the IASSIST conference has been hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s the first to be held in Winter since the very first one in February 1977. Why not share with us your “firsts”? What new and novel projects are you working on? What worked or didn’t work on your first attempt, and what have you learned from that experience?
 
However, there are a lot of ways to explore “data firsts.” As data professionals, we also put data first; however, in today’s climate, where increasing amounts of misinformation are being widely spread via the internet and social media without facts and data to back it up, not everyone shares our values. So how can we educate and advocate to bring “data first” back into the minds of our students, researchers, funders, etc.? How do we share our love of data and its importance as a valuable asset to a library collection or archive?
 
We welcome submissions that share ways in which our IASSIST community is putting “data first” and experiencing “firsts.” Some examples could be your experiences:
 
  • Addressing issues around data policies, privacy, and ethics
  • Advocating the importance of archiving and preserving data in a climate of misinformation
  • Analyzing and visualizing data in new and novel ways to gain original insights into data
  • Data as numbers, pictures, words, and sounds
  • Exploring data across subject areas and geographic regions
  • Partnering with researchers and data producers to enhance sharing, reproducibility and long term access
  • Promoting data as valuable assets to a library or archive collection
  • Strategic collaborations to put data first
  • Teaching data literacy skills, emphasizing the value of a solid foundation, where facts and data support an argument
 
We want to hear about putting “data first” from all perspectives, from theory to application and what tools you used to get there. Suggestions on how attendees can take these ideas back and integrate them into their own practice are encouraged.
 
So please send us your “data firsts”!
Submitting Proposals - DEADLINE: November 1, 2018
We welcome submissions for papers, presentations, panels, posters, and lightning talks.
The Call for Presentations, along with the link to the submission form, is on the conference website:
 
Questions about presentation submissions may be sent to the Program Co-Chairs (Bobray Bordelon, Ashley Jester, and Kelly Schultz) at iassist2019@lists.iassistdata.org.
 
We are also accepting submissions for Pre-conference Workshops. The Call for Workshops, along with the link to the submission form, is at:

Questions about workshop submissions may be sent to the Workshop Coordinators, Eimmy Solis and Stephanie Labou, at workshops@lists.iassistdata.org.

Deadline for ALL submissions: November 1, 2018
Notification of acceptance: Mid-December 2018
 
Support for Attending Conference
 
IASSIST Fellows Program supports data professionals from underrepresented regions and countries with emerging economies. IASSIST Early Professional Fellows Program helps early career data professionals recognizing the value of innovative ideas. Applications can be made at https://goo.gl/forms/yttyvLUetnheZH5Z2 and will close December 23, 2018.
Address questions about the Fellows Programs to Florio Arguillas (foa2@cornell.edu).


Workshop Report: “Interoperability of Metadata Standards in Cross-Domain Science, Health, and Social Science Applications”

Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, 1 – 5 October 2018, Wadern, Germany

A workshop on the practical application of computer science to enable data sharing and data interoperability across disciplinary boundaries was hosted at the internationally renowned computer science institute at Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany. The event was sponsored by CODATA (the Committee on Data of the International Science Council), and the Data Documentation Initiative Alliance (DDI), and subsidized by Dagstuhl; it was organized by Simon Cox (CSIRO Australia and W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group), Simon Hodson (CODATA), Steven McEachern (Australian National University and DDI Alliance), Joachim Wackerow (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and DDI Alliance). The workshop brought together 24 participants from many different domains. These included representatives of a number of metadata specifications, as well as researchers involved in pilot projects currently being pursued as part of the ISC and CODATA Data Integration Initiative. A duration of 5 days, and the relative isolation and unique dynamics of Dagstuhl, encourages intense involvement on the part of all participants (as described on the DDI site here).

The workshop examined how modern web-friendly computer science techniques and standards could better enable data-sharing in the context of the Data Integration Initiative pilots. These are major cross-disciplinary data integration projects to advance solutions for three important global challenges: infectious disease outbreaks, resilient cities, and disaster risk reduction. The infectious disease pilot builds on work by the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) to support both research and humanitarian efforts, with Ebola used as the primary example for discussion. The resilient cities pilot focuses on the work in Medellín, Columbia, in partnership with Resilience Brokers.  Examples involved air quality measurement, location of hospitals, and geo-spatial data. The disaster risk reduction pilot, led by Public Health England in partnership with the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk is looking at how data could support the Sendai Framework, especially in cases where the SDG indicators would not be sufficient. Different approaches for obtaining data both from within and from outside the realm of official statistics were explored, with an emphasis on research data.  In each case, data integration presented significant challenges.


To read more, see the Data Integration Initiative website


DRR and Open DATA newsletter- October Edition

It’s our pleasure to share the October Edition of DRR and Open DATA newsletter on behalf of Disaster DATA Working Group of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme of ICSU/UNISDR, CODATA task group Linked Open Data for Global Disaster Risk Research (LODGD), Sustainable Development Solution Network, Public Health England and Tonkin and Taylor.  

This is a monthly Newsletter based on latest data driven disaster risk reduction information news, publications and upcoming events collected from all DRR and DATA networks.

Read the full issue here


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE11)

The ISDE11 Call for Abstracts is now open

We are pleased to announce this Call for Abstracts for the 11th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE 11).

Important Dates for Abstract Submission

  • Deadline for Abstract Submission: January 31st, 2019
  • Notification of Abstract Acceptance: April 15th, 2019
  • Presenting author of an accepted abstract should register and complete the full payment prior to May 31st, 2019, in order to be included in the program and in the proceedings of ISDE11.


Abstract submission

To submit your abstract for review, please fill in the abstract submission form. Once you created your account, you can upload your abstract (format allowed: .doc/.docx or .rtf). The author account is needed for communication purposes.

Abstracts submitted by fax or e-mail will not be accepted. Presenters can submit a maximum of three abstracts.

All abstracts must be submitted in English.

Please do not submit multiple copies of the same abstract.

All abstracts will be forwarded to the Scientific and Program Committee for review.

Once submitted, your abstract can be amended within the deadline: January 31st, 2019. Please contact the Organizing Secretariat (scientific@digitalearth2019.eu) if you need to withdraw the submission.

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