CODATA at the ICSU General Assembly, Auckland, New Zealand

I am at the ICSU (International Council for Science) General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand, 31 Aug – 3 Sept 2014. ICSU has been described here as ‘the United Nations for Science’. As such it provides an international voice for the importance and role of science in human society, internationally. Its mission is ‘to strengthen international science for the benefit of society’ and as such the role of science in supporting evidence-based policy making is a big theme.  CODATA, of course, is part of the ‘ICSU family’: were are an interdisciplinary body of ICSU and we were established in 1966 as the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology. CODATA supports the ICSU mission ‘by promoting improved scientific data management as use’.


This is my first time at an ICSU General Assembly and it is fascinating to see the workings of this international, non-governmental organisation that brings together scientists from all around the world.

CODATA is heavily involved in various activities at this ICSU General Assembly…

Already, yesterday, Sunday 31 August, I was on a panel to discuss with ICSU’s National and International Scientific Union members a draft report – towards which CODATA and ICSU-WDS have contributed – which will lay out ICSU’s position on the issues of Open Access, Open Scientific Data and the use metrics for the evaluation of scientific contributions. The group putting together the report was chaired by John Ball of the University of Oxford: among others Mark Thorley, CODATA EC Member; John Helliwell, IUCr Delegate to CODATA; Mustapha Mokrane, ED of ICSU-WDS and I all contributed to the report.

Today, Mon 1 Sept 2014, I shall – very rapidly – introduce the CODATA Poster as part of the ‘Poster Expresso’ event!

SaOE ReportThis evening, CODATA is co-organising, with the Royal Society, a side event on Open Science and Open Data. This will feature an introductory presentation from CODATA President Huadong Guo and then a discussion of the Open Data agenda from Geoffrey Boulton. A panel featuring representatives of ICSU members countries as well as of the Global Young Academy will respond to the issues. The meeting will be chaired by Kari Raivio, Past President of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and former Vice President of ICSU.

Kari Raivio also chaired the ICSU Review of CODATA which will be the subject of a session at the ICSU GA tomorrow, Tue 2 Sept 2014. Professor Raivio will outline the process for the review and the findings and recommendations of the report. CODATA President Professor Huadong Guo will then provide our response and show how we have already put into practice many of these recommendations.