SciDataCon 2018: The Digital Frontiers of Global Science
Co-organized by the World Data System and the Committee on Data (CODATA) of the International Science Council (ISC), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the University of Botswana, and the Academy of Science of South Africa, IDW 2018 combined both the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting (RDA P12), and SciDataCon 2018, the joint WDS−CODATA scientific conference. Its scope encompassed all areas of research, including the Natural and Social Sciences, Humanities, and Business and Management Studies.
Title: The Digital Frontiers of Global Science
IDW 2018 was extremely successful, bringing together over 850 renowned data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, policy makers, and entrepreneurs from some 65 countries over the course of the four days. It started on Monday, 5 November 2019 with an official opening keynote by His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetsew Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, before his first State of the National Address, in which he referenced IDW and the importance of scientific data. IDW 2018 then continued with a high-level panel containing science ministers from several African countries, who started the event’s rich discussions on science and data.
IDW 2018 was also a triumph for WDS, which had been wholly involved in all aspects of its organization for the previous two years. Highlights of IDW for WDS included:
The very full rooms in the seven sessions organized by WDS at SciDataCon 2018, many of which spanned two session slots owing to their popularity.
- Improving Data Repository Trustworthiness
- Health Databases across the African Continent: What do we have and what do we need for Sustainable Development?
- Scientific Data Challenges for Sustainable Development
- Repositories: Are we serving our scientists? Cross-learnings from multiple disciplines
- Spatial Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa
- Africa Data Centers: Challenges and Opportunities
- Citizen Science Data – from Collection to Curation to Management
The highly stimulating discussions at the WDS-led Birds of a Feather breakout session at RDA P12 on Non-standard Digital Research Outputs.
The positive community feedback from the WDS initiatives promoted during the joint SciDataCon Plenary Session with CODATA on the evening of Wednesday, 7 November. The presentation given by the 2018 WDS Data Stewardship Award winner, Wouter Beek, received particular praise and showcased—alongside a networking event organized by the WDS Early Career Researcher Network—WDS’ commitment to support and to involve the next generations of data(-oriented) scientists.
IDW 2018 (and hence SciDataCon 2018) addressed the theme of ‘The Digital Frontiers of Global Science'. In a hyperconnected world, where the internet is pervasive and web technologies are driving major changes in our lives, research has become evermore digital and international. The major societal and scientific challenges facing humanity in this digital age are profoundly global in character, requiring the participation of researchers from all countries and disciplines. The data revolution offers major scientific opportunities to address these issues, but the frontiers of science, data analysis and stewardship must be advanced to realize these potentials. Likewise, the data revolution must be inclusive, benefit all, and harness all energies: no parts of the world and no disciplines should be left behind.
SciDataCon 2018 brought together research and practice papers from a wide range of perspectives, with the scope kept explicitly broad and inclusive to address all aspects of the role of data in research. The high-level themes of the 2018 edition were:
- The digital frontiers of global science.
- A global and inclusive data revolution.
- Applications, progress and challenges of data intensive research.
- Data infrastructure and enabling practices for international and collaborative research.
The full programme of SciDataCon 2018 can be found here: https://www.scidatacon.org/IDW2018/programme/