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Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes: Challenges and Opportunities Opens in Beijing
 Date: 2014-06-09  Page Views:

The Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes: Challenges and Opportunities was kicked off on the morning of 8 June in Beijing. It is sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), and co-sponsored by ICSU World Data System (WDS), Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), Research Data Alliance (RDA), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI). The workshop is designed to provide a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of "Big Data" for international collaborative science programmes. 

Dr. Sara Graves, Secretary General of CODATA, chaired the opening ceremony, which was attended by 100 participants, including Prof. GUO Huadong, President of CODATA and Director-General of RADI, Prof. GAO Wen, Vice President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Dr. Krishan Lal, Immediate Past President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Dr. Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director of GEO, Prof. Mark Stafford Smith, Chair of the Future Earth Scientific Committee, Prof. Milan Konecny, Vice President of ISDE, Prof. David Johnston, Chair of IRDR Scientific Committee, Mr. Mustapha Mokrane, Executive Director of WDS International Programme Office, and Prof. XU Guanhua, Former Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST).

Prof. XU Guanhua fully confirmed the significance of big data in the science fields, such as global change, environmental issues, disaster risks, life sciences and high-energy physics. Prof. XU particularly pointed out that Big Data should be promoted as serving scientific discovery, and scientists should pay close attention to Big Data research as a new direction for development. Prof. XU concluded that CODATA has played an important role in the development of data for science and technology, and hoped this workshop seen as a milestone on the road to the development of data science.

Prof. GUO Huadong introduced CODATA’s mission and its three new initiatives proposed in CODATA’s Strategic Plan 2013-18, including Policy and Institutional Frameworks for Data, Frontiers in Data Science and Technology, and Data Strategies for International Science. Prof. GUO pointed out that the scientific paradigm is shifting from model-driven to data-driven science. He proposed the idea of “scientific big data” - by seeking out the relations within big data, new models, new knowledge, and new laws can be discovered and explored. “Big Data is unleashing interesting times of transition, and it will change human life and our understanding of the world”, Prof. GUO said.

In the Keynotes Session for Setting the Scene, Big Data and International Science, Prof. GUO Huadong, Prof. Peter Fox, Chair of the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Barbara Ryan, and Prof. Mark Stafford Smith delivered presentations titled “Big Data, Big Science, Towards Big Discovery”, “Environmental Informatics: Leveraging BIG Data to Solve BIG Problems”, “The Group on Earth Observations through 2025”, “Future Earth - An Agenda Needing Use-Oriented Data” respectively.

In Prof. GUO’s keynote presentation, he reviewed the global development trends of Big Data, pointed out the crucial role of Big Data played for such international science programs as Future Earth and IRDR, and revealed how Big Data involved in big science and lead to big scientific discovery. Prof. GUO concluded that the scientific Big Data will serve as “engine” for the new sciences.

This workshop featured four keynote speakers on topics of vital interest, five high level sessions of twenty one presentations on a wide spectrum of topics, and the productive discussion. The topics covered a variety of disciplines including spatial information, computing science, genomics, and various aspects of data including data policy, stewardship, simulation and sharing.

CODATA, the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology, was established in 1966 to meet a need for an international coordinating body to improve the management and preservation of scientific data. CODATA has been at the forefront of data science and data policy issues since that date.

Prof. GUO Huadong and Prof. GAO Wen deliver speeches.

Dr. Krishan Lal and Dr. Barbara Ryan deliver speeches.

Prof. Mark Stafford Smith and Prof. Milan Konecny deliver speeches.

Prof. David Johnston and Mr. Mustapha Mokrane deliver speeches.

   Prof. XU Guanhua delivers a speech.               Dr. Sara Graves chairs the opening ceremony.

A scene from the workshop.


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