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SciDataCon 2014 DRAFT Programme Published

The draft programme for SciDataCon 2014, the International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability, jointly organised by CODATA and the ICSU World Data System, is now available.

It is an exciting and packed programme, featuring carefully selected parallel sessions, high level panels and poster presentations.  Keynote speakers include Jacqueline McGlade, Chief Scientist, United Nations Environment Programme and Paul Berkman, Head of the Arctic Ocean Geopolitics Programme through the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge and a Research Professor through the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California Santa Barbara.

SciDataCon 2014 takes place in New Delhi on 2-5 November 2014: early bird registration remains open until 1 October 2014!

SciDataCon 2014 is motivated by the conviction that the most significant research challenges – and in particular the pressing issues relating to global sustainability – cannot be properly addressed without due attention to various issues relating to data.  SciDataCon aims to make explicit the connection between concrete and specific challenges to ensure environmental protection, economic prosperity and social well being along with the research questions that arise from these challenges and the necessary role of data policy, management and analysis in addressing these research questions. The effectiveness and credibility of research findings rely on the widest possible availability of quality-assessed and interoperable datasets.

Accordingly, with the ambition of building a bridge between important research concerns and related data issues, the programme is structured around four tracks which correspond to the research themes of ICSU's flagship Future Earth programme, while also taking into account the challenges of data science and services.  

CODATA Highlights Presented at the ICSU General Assembly

CODATA President, Professor Huadong Guo, and Executive Director, Dr Simon Hodson, recently attended the General Assembly of ICSU, the International Council of Science in Auckland, New Zealand.

As noted in the our blog, CODATA was heavily involved in a number of activities, including discussions around ICSU's Report on Open Access, Open Data and Metrics as well as organising a side event, with the Royal Society on Open Data for Open Science.

Additionally, we presented a poster summarising our activities in response to the ICSU Review of CODATA.  Recent achievements are featured in a information leaflet which was communicated to the General Assembly delegates.

Highlights include CODATA work on Data Citation, on the Description of Nanomaterials, on Fundamental Constants and on Global Roads Data.  Also featured are recent the recent CODATA Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes and the CODATA Workshop on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries.

Kenya Cabinet Secretary Supports the International Workshop on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries

Yesterday, Wednesday 6 August 2014, saw the opening of the International Workshop on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries, organised by CODATA and the CODATA Task Group on Preservation and Access to Scientific and Technical Data with Developing Countries (PASTD) in collaboration with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the Communication and Information Committee, World Federation of Engineering Organization (WFEO-CIC) and the Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (MOICT).  The three-day workshop is hosted by UNESCO at the United Nations Offices, Nairobi.

Address by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang'i

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i

The Opening Ceremony was addressed by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang'i who presented an inspiring vision of a 'people-centric, inclusive, open and development-oriented information society' and the challenges of realising this vision.  Dr. Matiang'i argued that there is a need 'to develop policies, both at the international and national levels, that deal with development and implementation of data and information, including issues around Open Access, Access to Information and Data protection legislation, and on charging and reuse of public sector information.'  To this end, he suggest that 'specific strategies for ensuring scientific knowledge is placed in machine searchable repositories be developed and implemented by public agencies and universities as drivers. Furthermore, information, research and content funded by governments should be made freely available over the internet as part of the global public commons, to the maximum extent possible.'

Dr. Matiang'i gave his support for the workshop and expressed his certainty that the meeting would be a signfiicant contribution towards addressing these issues.  Saying this, he called on CODATA to 'become more visible in education and capacity-building by developing science and educational programs and activities that focus on data and information and urged CODATA and the workshop partners to develop 'an action plan that will eventually optimize the flow of information, especially government generated information, research, and content for the benefit of users'.

Dr. Matiang'i also expressed the government's support for plans to 'establish a regional Data Sharing Centre to accelerate generation, analysis, management and archival of scientific data to support its development plans'.

This address was a genuinely exciting call for action and greatly appreciated support for the objectives of the workshop.  The full text of Dr. Matiang'i's speech is available here.

Contributions from Workshop Partners

Other speakers at the Opening Ceremony were:

  • Dr Mika Odido, coordinator of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO’s programmes in Africa and the Adjacent Island States, on behalf of UNESCO representing of Mohamed Djelid, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa;
  • Professor Xingfa Gu, on behalf of CODATA-PASTD, Co-Chair of CODATA-PASTD;
  • Professor Ke Gong, on behalf of WFEO, Vice President of World Federation of Engineer Organization, address available here;
  • Professor Mabel Imbuga, on behalf of the Local Organizers, Co-Chair of CODATA-PASTD, Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Dr Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director, read a message from CODATA President, Professor Huadong Guo, who wished the workshop all success and thanked the organisers for their hard work, vision and inspiration.  Particular appreciation was extended to Professor Liu Chuang whose superhuman efforts on behalf of the CODATA-PASTD Task Group deserve special recognition.  Professor Guo commented that the workshop was a significant event of which the outputs would be recognised at the ICSU General Assembly, CODATA's own General Assembly and at SciDataCon 2014, the International Conference on Data Availability and Integration for Global Sustainability.

CODATA Organises Workshop on Open Data at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

JKUAT LogoOn Monday 4 August 2014 and Tuesday 5 August, CODATA, through its Task Group on Preservation and Access to Data in/for/with Developing Countries, delivered a Training Workshop on Open Data at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, near Nairobi.

The Training Workshop was opened by JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Professor Mabel Imbuga.  The topics covered include an overview of Open Data principles and policies, legal and IP issues, an introduction to data management planning.  This was followed by a series of hands-on sessions on data analysis, visualisation and data applications involving geospatial data of huge importance for environmental and developmental research of various kinds.

Please also see the news article from JKUAT on this training course.

CODATA Training JKUAT Group

'CODATA: International Collaboration for Open Scientific Data': an information leaflet

Prepared for distribution at the CODATA Workshop on Open Data for Science and Sustainability in Developing Countries, the leaflet CODATA International Collaboration for Open Scientific Data provides a brief overview of CODATA's mission, strategic plan, membership and activities as well as an update on recent events and publications.


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