ON SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND FOSTERING OPEN SCIENCE#

by Erol Gelenbe (Chair) with committee members Guy Brasseur, Luc Chefneux, Véronique Dehant, Véronique Halloin, Jean-Paul Haton, Michel Judkiewicz, Bernard Rentier and Romain Weikmans

Professor Gelenbe
Professor Erol Gelenbe
A committee chaired by Prof. Erol Gelenbe MAE at the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Belgium, which included Prof Veronique Halloin, President of the European Science Foundation, recently published a report "On sharing knowledge and fostering open science" which addresses key problems in scientific and technical communication, and peer review, as we enter the post-Covid-19 period and address the energy transition required by the challenges of Climate Change.

The report considers scientific and technical communication, both for written papers and proceedings which have largely moved online (but not always in open access), and the seminars, workshops and symposia which frequently involve air travel with substantial CO2 impact. Online meetings that recently became very popular, as well as online repositories for publications, themselves have a significant CO2 and environmental impact, due to the massive use of electricity by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and due to the environmentally unfriendly manufacturing processes for ICT equipment, and for its decommissioning when it becomes obsolete.

The report presents a broad overview of these aspects, and offers recommendations regarding the future organization of scientific and technical communication, including:

(1) peer reviewed journals and proceedings with online open access,
(2) the importance of face to face seminars and symposia, together with online meetings, to maintain the serendipity and importance of direct human contact while reducing the need for air travel,
(3) the peer evaluation of research and of academic and research staff and its dependence on publications and their qualitative - rather than excessively quantitative - evaluation, where the concept of impact should include the usefulness of research to education, industry and society,
(4) and the crucial role of ICT in all these aspects and the questions raised by the sustainability of ICT itself.



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