International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science, Beijing, July 2016

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The CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science was held in Beijing, 4-17 July 2016.  Workshop participants included early career researchers as well as research leaders and managers of research institutes from countries with developing or emerging economies.  Successful applicants were financially supported thanks to a grant from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data WorldWorkshop Description

In today’s data-rich world, streams of digital data are being generated from science facilities and myriad sensors (telescopes, video cameras, traffic monitors, magnetic resonance imaging machines, and biological and chemical sensors monitoring the environment etc).  Combined with the increasing ability for large-scale storage, communication and analysis, the Data Revolution presents major opportunities for science.  The Science International Accord on ‘Open Data in a Big Data World’ highlights the most important issues to be addressed if these benefits are to be realized.  These include the Open Data imperative, the need to maintain the scientific self-correction and the ethical constraints which must be respected.  Equally important is the need for open global participation in the benefits of the Data Revolution.  Systemic capacity building and targeted training in Big Data and data science are essential if this is to be achieved in countries with emerging or developing economies.

Building data science capacity in countries with developing and emerging economies (in part through promoting technical training in data science, in data management and in the implications of Big Data for science) is an important part of CODATA’s strategy.

The training program offered in this workshop aimed to engage participants with a number of facets of data science and data management in the Big Data age.  Topics included, but were not limited to, interdisciplinary applications of open research data, data intensive research, data management policies, cloud computing, visualization, analytics and data infrastructure development in the Big Data Age.  Through a mix of theoretical study, workshop and practical sessions as well as field visits, the organizers aimed to help participants develop a deeper expertise in the latest Big Data technologies for scientific discovery.

The CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science shared the objectives and much of the content of the CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer Schools and is a partner to that initiative.

Additionally, a number of activities were organized involving elite Chinese scientists, in order to promote knowledge sharing and to develop opportunities for future exchanges and collaboration.  Participants also benefitted from visits to a number of leading research institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

On 7-8 July, the workshop students attended the 6th Digital Earth Summit of the International Society for Digital Earth, a major event involving many international experts and in which CODATA played an important role.