Delfim Leão elected to UNESCO Advisory Committee on Open Science

Vice-Rector of UC will represent Western Europe and North America on the committee

13 july, 2020≈ 4 min read

Delfim Ferreira Leão, Full Professor at the University of Coimbra, Vice-Rector for Culture and Open Science and Director of the Coimbra University Press, has just been appointed to the UNESCO Advisory Committee on Open Science, composed of 30 representatives, the UNESCO electoral groups and experts of recognized merit. Following numerous applications and proposals, Delfim Ferreira Leão was chosen by the Director-General of UNESCO, Andrey Azoulay, proposed by the Portuguese Ambassador to UNESCO, Professor António Sampaio da Nóvoa, in conjunction with the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, to represent Western Europe and North America in this Committee. For this choice, Delfim Ferreira Leão's experience in the area was important,as well as the importance of the University of Coimbra in the field of Open Science.

From 16 to 17 July, the first meeting of the UNESCO Advisory Committee on Open Science will take place , through a virtual conference, which will address, among other topics, challenges, opportunities and best practices, as well as UNESCO priorities for Open Science recommendations.

For Delfim Ferreira Leão, “this appointment reflects the growing centrality that political decision-makers, the scientific community and society attribute to Open Science, as well as, on a more particular level, the strategic value that the University of Coimbra gives it in its programmatic options. It opens the door to a forum of international capital importance, which will give a decisive boost to the objective of democratizing science and eliminating the barriers that prevent more frank and transversal access to scientific technology and innovation”.

Recognizing the potential of Open Science to democratize science and fill gaps in technology and scientific innovation, UNESCO - at the initiative of Portugal, namely through the Portuguese Ambassador to UNESCO, António Sampaio da Nóvoa, with strong support from the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the XXII Government of Portugal - intends to create a standardization instrument in the form of a recommendation.

The role of this Committee is to guide the process leading to the recommendation and perform functions such as providing expert and strategic advice; ensure the achievement of the process objectives; and provide support in fundraising.

The Open Science movement emerged from the scientific community and quickly gained a growing worldwide expression. Open Science, which presupposes the availability of open data and publications, allows the sharing of knowledge between the scientific community, companies and society, making it possible to increase the recognition and the social and economic impact of science.

This UNESCO Recommendation aims to build a global consensus on Open Science through an inclusive, transparent and consultative process, involving all countries and all stakeholders.

The Recommendation is expected to define shared values ​​and principles for Open Science, and to identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data, with proposals to bring citizens closer to science, which facilitate the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge worldwide.

Source: UC News