Category Archives: CODATA Elections 2016

CODATA Elections 2016

Alena Rybkina: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the seventh in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. As an existing member of the CODATA Executive Committee, Alena Rybkina is applying for re-election as an Ordinary Member.  She was nominated by the Russian CODATA National Committee.

Alena RybkinaAlena Rybkina is chief of the Innovation Technologies Sector of the Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (GC RAS).  She is young but internationally recognized specialist in implementation of modern information and visualization technologies in scientific research and industrial domain. Important goals of her activity are data technological studies and development of spherical projection systems aimed at efficient analysis, demonstration and popularization in data research and management.

Alena is actively involved in the operations of the CODATA Task Group “Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability”. She co-authored the “Atlas of the Earth’s Magnetic Field”, which was one of the outstanding TG achievements in 2013. She is experienced in the organization of international and national events co-organized by CODATA and devoted to promotion of data science in Russia and other countries. In particular she was the principal organizer of the conferences  “Electronic Geophysical Year: State of the Art and Results” in 2009, Pereslavl-Zalessky (, “Artificial Intelligence in the Earth’s Magnetic Field Study. INTERMAGNET Russian Segment” in 2011, Uglich (, “Geophysical Observatories, Multifunctional GIS and Data Mining” in 2013, Kaluga ( and “Data Intensive System Analysis for Geohazard Studies” in 2016, Sochi (  She is currently leading the initiative related to the organization of Regional CODATA Eurasia conference, which will be held in September-October 2017.

As she is involved in a number of international projects, including those developed by the International Institution for Applied System Analysis (IIASA, Laxemburg, Austria), she aims to promote efficient global collaboration for improved knowledge, understanding of the earth system, disaster risk mitigation and sustainable development.

Alena is geologist currently working on the paleoenvironmental reconstructions and the Earth’s magnetic field studies. She has taken part in geological expeditions in Russia, Ukraine, France and Italy for collecting paleomagnetic data and providing correlations between changes in magnetic data and global astronomical cycles.

As an active young researcher she will be a dynamic and effective member of the CODATA Executive Committee.  Alena’s focus is on promoting CODATA activities in the data and research communities as well as the organization of CODATA events to involve new members as well as young scientists. As a specialist in data visualisation technologies she can also share her experience in modern technologies of data mining.

LI Jianhui: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the sixth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. As an existing member of the CODATA Executive Committee, LI Jianhui is applying for re-election as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by the Chinese CODATA National Committee.

liFourteen years ago, I attended the 18th International CODATA Conference — “Frontiers of Scientific and Technical Data” in Montreal. That is the first time I joined CODATA activities, and since that time, I have been very happy to be a member of CODATA Family. Nine years ago, I was lucky enough to be designated Secretary-General of the Chinese National Committee for CODATA (CODATA-CHINA), and since then I have lead CODATA-China activities, organizing bilateral & multilateral data cooperation,and engaging in CODATA international events. Two years ago, I was elected as the Ordinary Member of the CODATA Executive Committee. And today, it’s my honour to be nominated as the candidate of the Ordinary Member of the CODATA Executive Committee again.

As a professor in CNIC (Computer Network Information Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), My job and research is focused on scientific data infrastructure design and development, scientific data citation and publication, data intensive computing and data science. I have been leading scientific data sharing in Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for more than 10 years, and I am now pushing forward research data sharing and data publication in China. I led the design, development and implementation of the CAS Scientific Data Cloud ( for data sharing, big data analysis and large-scale data-Intensive scientific research. I initiated an open access data journal “China Scientific Data” ( to enable research data sharing so that it can be accessible and intelligible. I am also leading the development and services of the National Data Sharing Network for Basic Research, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, which coordinates scientific research data sharing among universities, institutions and other research organizations. I will lead to develop a big research data life-cycle management system in the next three years, also funded by Ministry of Science and Technology.

As the Secretary-General of CODATA-CHINA, I organized a series of activities to help promote and improve scientific and technical data management and use, and increasing the impact of CODATA in China. In 2014, I initiated and convened the National Scientific Data Conference in China. As a national level academic conference on scientific data, it is now held annually. In 2012,I also initiated the International Training Workshop for Developing Countries on Scientific Data co-sponsored by CAS, CODATA and CODATA-CHINA. The training workshop was successfully held in 2012, 2014 and 2016 in Beijing. This is the best practice and demonstration for CODATA capacity building. Additionally, Paul Uhlir and I have coordinated a series of China-U.S. roundtable meetings on scientific data cooperation from 2006 to 2014, jointly hosted by CODATA-CHINA and U.S. National Committee for CODATA, serving as a catalyst and coordinating body for bilateral cooperation on scientific data practices and policies at the academic and national level in each country.

As an ordinary member of CODATA Executive Committee, I have actively engaged in CODATA activities: I have assiduously performed the role of Task Group liaison, I have helped organize Task Group meetings in China, for example, the China data citation workshop, and I have helped increase CODATA’s visibility in developing countries.  I have also acted as an expert linking with other international organizations: for example on the OECD GSF expert group for Data Infrastructures and the on the Working Group for the Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World.

This is a Big Data era, in which scientific discovery will be increasingly driven by big data. As a very unique international organization, CODATA should be and can play a leading role in this tread. We have identified our three priorities: data policy, frontiers of data science and capacities building. We need to make these happened, through our task groups, working groups, national members, union members and supporting organizations, linking with the other organizations, for example, WDS, GSF,ISDE, GEO, etc. I believe my expertise will help CODATA carry out its missions, objectives and key initiatives of Strategic Plan, especially in capacity building in developing counties, open data policy and best practice in developing countries.

Hannu Koskinen: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the fifth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Hannu Koskinen is a new candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by the Finnish CODATA National Committee.

Koskinen HannuPersonal background and expertise

I am currently the Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki (UH/PHYS). It is a large physics department (about 300 employees, 35 professors). Our staff is deeply involved in CODATA-related research in elementary particle physics (in collaboration with Helsinki Institute of Physics, which is responsible for the Finnish CERN-activities), in space sciences (ESA and ESO activities), in atmospheric research and climate change (in collaboration with the Finnish Meteorological Institute) as well as in materials research (e.g., simulations of surface phenomena).

My scientific background is in theoretical and experimental space plasma physics. During my professional career of more than 35 years I have participated in about dozen scientific instruments onboard ESA, Swedish and Russian spacecraft to the near-Earth space, Mars, Venus, and comet Churymov-Gerasimenko as well as in the future ESA mission to Mercury. In addition, I have had administrative roles in other missions: of particular relevance to CODATA is my membership of the Steering Committee of ESA’s upcoming dark-energy mission EUCLID. My institute has the responsibility for one of the data centres that will be located in Finland. As a space scientist I have witnessed the evolution from the modest data volumes in the 1980s to the explosion of present-day data sets.

While I have no previous involvement in CODATA activities, I have long experience in national committees of ICSU-related organizations COSPAR, IUGG and URSI, having served 12 years (2000 – 2011) as the Chairman of the COSPAR National Committee and the Finnish COSPAR Council Delegate. Furthermore, I have wide experience in various committees of ESA (e.g., 13 years as the national Delegate in the Science Programme Committee and 3 years as the Chair of the Programme Board of the Space Situational Awareness Programme) where big data issues, including data quality and policy, have often been dealt with.


The explosion of the data volumes is a key challenge in today’s and future scientific research practically in all fields of research. This requires clear and efficient data policies and practices and significant intellectual investments at the frontiers of data science. These two priorities in the CODATA strategy must not be seen as separate issues, as data management and distribution are useless without novel methods in dealing with data and, vice versa, the grand scientific challenges cannot be met without access to the best data sets. The third priority, to mobilize the data capacity to low and medium income countries is of utmost importance and urgent to deal with due to the major societal grand challenges (climate change, megacities, etc.) these countries are facing.

A central issue in all these segments is open data and how the openness and strict requirements of data quality and reliability can be fit together. If elected to the Executive Committee I would emphasize in particular the questions of open data.  As the first Executive Committee member from Finland, I would work in close collaboration with the newly established National Committee for Research Data that is representing my country in CODATA on behalf of the Council of Finnish Academies.

Hannu Koskinen
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics

John Broome: Candidacy for CODATA Treasurer

This is the fourth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. John Broome currently serves as CODATA Treasurer and is seeking re-election.  He was nominated by the Canadian CODATA National Committee

I am the current CODATA Treasurer, and I am willing to continue as Treasurer for a 2nd term.

My scientific experience with data includes over 30 years in government and the private sector working on research data stewardship, architecture, policy, management, modelling, integration, and access.   When I retired from Natural Resources Canada, I was responsible for data management policy and strategy for the Earth Sciences Sector.

During my career, I have been an active member of numerous international groups focused on policy for improving the management, accessibility and interoperability of scientific and geospatial data.  These activities include contributing to the OneGeology initiative , representing the IUGS at the CODATA General Assembly, serving on the CODATA Executive Committee, and chairing the Canadian National Committee for CODATA.

Additional professional Details: John Broome – LinkedIn.

During my first term as Treasurer my achievements included leading reform of the member dues structure to improve the alignment between member GDP and dues, improving the budgeting, financial tracking, and audit processes to facilitate monitoring CODATA’s financial status, and improving communication of finances to the Executive Committee and Officers.

If I am selected by the CODATA community to continue for a 2nd term as Treasurer, my priority would be to work with the Executive Committee and Officers to increase CODATA’s revenue to permit further growth of our activities.  CODATA is poised to expand its activities but there is a need for funds to retain additional human resources in the secretariat to free up our Executive Director to concentrate on strategic activities.    Increasing our revenue will likely involve modifying the current business model to include new revenue streams possibly through contracted work or partnerships with other organizations.  I believe CODATA’s future is bright and I hope I am able to continue to contribute to its growth.

Mary Zborowski: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the third in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Mary Zborowski currently serves on the Executive Committee and is seeking re-election.  She is nominated by the Canadian CODATA National Committee.

Mary Zborowski has served on CODATA’s Executive Committee since 2012 (CODATA GA, Taipei) maryand has been involved with CODATA Canada since 1998. Since 2004, she has been Executive Secretary for the Canadian National Committee for CODATA (CNC/CODATA). Under her management, the CNC has thrived and attracted new key participants from Canada’s principal granting agencies, government departments, collaborative working groups, data-related initiatives, and large scientific research projects such as NEPTUNE Canada and International Polar Year – which projects involve widespread collaboration and result in large data collections. Mary has also been involved with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) and was Executive Secretary to the Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group, a multi-disciplinary group of universities, institutes, libraries, granting agencies, and individual researchers with a shared recognition of the pressing need to deal with Canadian data management issues.

Mary’s personal enthusiasm and commitment have combined with her organizational abilities to effectively promote many of CNC/CODATA’s initiatives, such as the Sangster Award for Early Career Professionals, communicated among all graduate universities in Canada and in similar networks, and awarded biennially in coordination with CODATA’s International Conference. She was editor of the bilingual serial, Report on Data Activities in Canada, presented to CODATA at its General Assemblies as evidence of Canada’s contribution to shared priorities. She has served on the Editorial Board of CODATA’s Data Science Journal, in which journal she also has published articles. She has contributed to CODATA’s Newsletters, and also to publications of own organization, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and to its networks. NRC ranks CNC/CODATA as one of the highest ranked among its sponsored CNCs, thereby ensuring ongoing support of the Canadian National Committee as well as its involvement with CODATA International.

Mary’s background in atomic and molecular physics was followed by over 20 years’ experience in Library and Information Science, working extensively with databases, catalogues, collaborative projects, and delivery of information services to researchers. She is especially attuned to the complexities relating to the design and delivery of services during times of rapid technological change. Since 2008, Mary worked at the corporate level, preparing ministerial documents detailing NRC’s performance strategy and resultant impact to the Canadian innovation community. In recent years, she has planned and chairs sessions at international conferences held in Canada, for the purpose of promoting the interests of both CODATA and WDS.

Mary has been a technical advisor to CODATA on web and publishing matters since 1998 and it is through her personal and active involvement that CODATA’s web site was moved to a new and economical infrastructure in 2013, then redesigned and re-launched. She is the current Liaison officer to the CODATA Fundamental Constants Task Group and has participated in the organization of SciDataCon2014 in New Delhi, India, and SciDataCon2016 in Denver, CO, USA.

Paul Laughton: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the second in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Paul Laughton currently serves on the Executive Committee and is seeking re-election. He is nominated by the South African CODATA National Committee.

I am researcher and lecturer in the field of information and knowledge management. I have a Paul Laughton Photopost at the Department of Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa  as a Senior Lecturer. I have a passion for data, particularly the management of data, and conducted my PhD thesis on the management of research data. I am actively involved in the research data sphere in South Africa and Southern Africa and work along-side a number of bodies in South Africa that promote research data. I have for a long time (since 2008) been involved in the Early Career Data Professional activities, which was a wonderful introduction to the functioning of CODATA and the individuals that contribute to the great work done by CODATA. Being elected as an Ordinary Committee member between 2014 and 2016 was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to learn from the many capable individuals that serve on this committee, I would like to stand for re-election as I believe I have more to offer this community and my African regional perspective and Early Career focus brings an important dynamic to the Executive Committee. I believe the future of research data has so much potential and poses number of complex challenges that require a different kind of thinking. I hope my contribution to this committee assists in taking science closer to the next phase of inquiry.

John Wood: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the first in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. John Wood has been prominent in the data community for a number of years.  He has served on the Council of the Research Data Alliance and chaired the influential ‘Riding the Wave Report’ for the European Commission.  He is currently Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities which has been a strong supporter of the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science <>.  John is nominated by the UK CODATA National Committee.

I am putting myself forward for election since I firmly believe in the power of data sharing to John Wood 2
potentially change the lives of peoples and countries in the developing world and the crucial role of CODATA in helping this transformation to take place. This may sound idealistic but I have been working as an adviser to the European Commission for several years to ensure that Open Science is linked to development and the delivery of the current United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Among other things I would see my chief role on the executive of helping CODATA deliver its strategy in this area since I have extensive experience of working in developing countries in addition to having many years of dealing with government officials world-wide.

My background is as an academic materials scientist with an interest in non-equilibrium processing and structural characterisation using various diffraction and thermal techniques. My last full time academic post was as head of the Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London.

Prior to that I was chief executive of the UK Central Laboratories based at the Rutherford-John Wood 1Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire where I first became aware of the impact of data and data sharing in the early 200s. I was the lead Research Council spokesman on Open Access and appeared before UK and European Parliamentary bodies and publishers’ organisations to defend Open Access. At the same time I became chair of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures and suggested and produced the first European Roadmap. During this time I became chair of the Support for Research Committee of the Joint Information Services Committee of the UK which supported the Data Curation Centre and a number of institutional repositories in Universities. As chief executive I had responsibility for the UK interest in a number of global projects including in the US, Japan, India and China.

The European Commission asked me to chair two important high level boards towards the end of 2000s. The first, the European Research Area Board produced a large number of recommendations that have been subsequently been incorporated into Horizon 2020 especially those relating to embedding e-science globally. The second produced the “Riding the Wave” report that ultimately led to the creation of the Research Data Alliance of which I am the global co-chair. I was also responsible for the follow up report “The Data Harvest.” As co-chair of the RDA I have had extensive discussions with the president of CODATA and the executive director on how we can support each other. I have a personal interest in the joint RDA-CODATA activity on “Data for development.” I will have served my turn as co-chair next spring and I wish to devote more time to the area of data for delivery of the SDGs in the future.

My current role is as Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities which is a group of over 500 universities across the world with the majority being in developing countries. In this role I have become familiar with many of the issues facing developing countries and have given extensive talks on the need for Open Science and in these countries. I was asked by the South African Government to chair their Research Roadmap Report three years ago where we did extensive analysis of the needs of both South African and the rest of Southern Africa with respect to data sharing.

I currently chair the Advisory Board of ATTRACT which brings together several European Laboratories (EIROFORUM) together to exploit Open Science for Open Innovation focusing on sensors, instrumentation and data. Many of the projects supported to data are linked with societal challenges.

I am a committed internationalist having worked and visited with colleagues in every continent (except Antarctica). I am regularly asked by governments and research funding agencies in other countries to participate in review panels so I have a wide view of the context of how decisions are made globally. Perhaps to emphasise the point I also have honorary doctorates from Universities in Romania, India, Ghana and Nigeria in addition to a federal award from the German government. I believe it would be good to use much of this experience to support the work of CODATA.