Thursday, October 7, 2010

Riding the data wave

A little diversion from the posts coming from Catania...

Yesterday I was invited to the European Commission for the presentation of the report 'Riding the wave: How Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data' to Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The report comes from the High Level Expert Group on Scientific Data, whose members range from astronomers to biologists, and industry to academia. It details their vision of data e-infrastructures in 2030 and how scientists at that time might benefit from regular access to the wealth of information science is generating across the world.

As chair of the High Level Group, John Wood, says "Preserving and sharing data is not like putting books on shelves. It’s dynamic and exciting.” Exciting it may be but it also throws up a whole host of challenges. Among these are how to encourage scientists to share data with each other, ensuring integrity, trust and ownership of data, and how to provide easy access to it all.

The report from the High Level group aims to address some of these issues, and encourages the European Institution to play a part in developing a data e-infrastructure which will benefit not just researchers but society. For more information you can find a copy of the (very readable) report here. And if that's not enough, why don't you take a look at our GridBriefing on data, or have a read of the book 'The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery' which is free for download on the web.

P.S. There'll also be more on this topic in next week's edition of iSGTW so keep an eye out!

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