“Readers now have unlimited access to storm-related coverage about Hurricane Irma and its aftermath. Other sections of The Times will operate as usual.”
“The August 20 decision by the Trump Administration to not renew the charter for the Sustained National Climate Assessment Federal Advisory Committee is yet another example of the administration’s increasingly blatant attempts to ignore and dismiss scientific information.
At the interface of science and society, the federal government and its research agencies play a critically important role. The capacity to understand and effectively address important policy issues depends on access to relevant scientific and technical expertise. Scientifically accurate information builds the foundation for public policies that promote the well-being of people and communities….”
“Proxy records used in the PAGES2k synthesis products are publicly available through previous publications or online data archives, or because their owners made them available for inclusion in this open-access data product. The original data for 49 records are made available for the first time in this data product (specified in Supplementary Table 1). Open access is a critical component of this endeavor, and led us to reject some records that would have been suitable under the other criteria. …”
“This week, the scientific community is being offered a new opportunity to advance the quest for ways to combat climate change. IBM is inviting scientists around the world to apply for a technology grant (valued at $40m) of crowd-sourced supercomputing power, meteorological data from The Weather Company, and IBM Cloud storage to support their climate or environmental research project.
Up to five of the most promising environmental and climate-related research projects will be supported, with technology and services contributions valued commercially at approximately $200 million….
In return for this support, winning scientists agree to support open science by publicly releasing the research data from their collaboration with us, enabling the global community to benefit from and build upon their findings.? …”
“For the past five years, the team behind the global ocean health report card, Ocean Health Index (OHI), have been trying to figure out how to reproduce their science faster. Assessing the scores on everything from biodiversity to tourism for 220 coastal nations and territories is a massive undertaking — and it involves synthesizing data from nearly 100 sources.
OHI scientists — including several from Conservation International, the index’s co-developer — knew there was a way to do ‘better science in less time.’ A new paper in the journal Nature details how they were able to do just that: By borrowing philosophies, tools and workflows primarily created for software development, OHI scientists fundamentally changed their approach to science. Human Nature sat down with the study’s lead author, Ocean Health Index project scientist Julia Stewart Lowndes, to discuss the key to this new approach: open science.”
“The federal OA policies are under Trump’s control but below his radar. He has no opinion about them, and neither do his top advisors. On the other hand, he and his top advisors have a strong hostility to science, almost a resentment, and show it by cutting the budgets of the science funding agencies, taking some OA databases offline, and and even bar?ring some publicly-funded researchers from communicating directly with the public (except through their publications). All this reduces the volume of OA to publicly-funded research, past and future.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which has an OA policy, is especially vulnerable because Trump-style Republicans believe that protecting the environment is bad for business. They’ve had it in their sights for years, and will either slash it or lay it down. But this shows the Trump approach. He doesn’t oppose OA as such; he just favors corporations and deregulation. OA is collateral damage, along with much bigger things, like the planet.”
“On the face of it, the bill is in line with what a lot of researchers argue for: open access not just for journal papers but for data too. The big idea is that this will make science more transparent and replicable, and decrease the friction for one lab to evaluate the work of another. (Psychology and a number of other fields have been dealing with an ongoing “crisis” in which they’re finding past research doesn’t replicate. Open access is a way to rectify it.)”
“Since I have been a grown up scientist, I have been an advocate for open data and open access to knowledge. For example, if one is involved with a research instrument on a satellite, then I advocated that data from that satellite should be made available to the public as soon as there is high confidence in the quality control and verification that the data are indeed measuring what they were intended to measure. …
In 2010, I was in a meeting with, for me, some pretty high rollers. The subject of the meeting was climate and climate change and, ultimately, trying to accelerate the exposure and use of climate knowledge in society. I was invited specifically to argue for open, community-based approaches. As the day went on, I was struck at the profound past looking, conservative, predisposition of scientists. There was the predominate concern that the data, knowledge, analyses, and syntheses from the science-based investigation of climate needed to be curated, reviewed, and provided by scientists and scientific organizations. This was how to provide credibility that the knowledge was good. This would contribute to trust.
Another attendee at the meeting, who came from the world of getting things done in political systems, whispered to me, “You have to keep talking or scientists are going to make themselves irrelevant to policy solutions to climate change.”
To be clear, that statement was not about the availability of data; there are many open data sets. It was a statement about the culture of scientists, and the tensions that come from use of science in society….”
“The list of reasons why energy models and data are not openly available is long: business confidentiality; concerns over the security of critical infrastructure; a desire to avoid exposure and scrutiny; worries about data being misrepresented or taken out of context; and a lack of time and resources.
This secrecy is problematic, because it is well known that closed systems hide and perpetuate mistakes. A classic example is the spreadsheet error discovered in the influential Reinhart–Rogoff paper used to support economic policies of national austerity. The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 was based on a model that could not be viewed by outsiders, leaving it open to criticism. Assumptions that remain hidden, like the costs of technologies, can largely determine what comes out of such models. In the United Kingdom, opaque and overly optimistic cost assumptions for onshore wind went into models used for policymaking, and that may well have delayed the country’s decarbonization.
This closed culture is alien to younger researchers, who grew up with collaborative online tools and share code and data on platforms such as GitHub. Yet academia’s love affair with metrics and the pressure to publish set the wrong incentives: every hour spent on cleaning up a data set for public release or writing open-source code is time not spent working on a peer-reviewed paper.”