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Open Science – The Place of and for People in Our Knowledge

Plenary / Panel
english language

The movement to open science for wider participation of the public through direct involvement in research itself is rapidly gathering pace. How will this movement rearrange the relations between science and our society? What changes will open access and collaborative platforms bring about?


Visiting Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna Abstract
Open Science has many meanings and covers a diverse range of practices. From radical "open notebook science" to predatory open access journals, many phenomena are labelled with "Open Science" (OS). It seems, there are as many varieties of "open science" as there are of science itself. Examining the rearrangements of relations between science and society through the OS movement, we need to further consider that they are embedded in a currently broadening trend: the internet and social media have brought about new modes of socially produced knowledge and the creation of new socio-epistemic spaces. Across all social fields people and institutions are experimenting with modalities of shared production, (re-)use, and (re-)distribution of knowledge and common goods.

Thus, we can treat OS as being part of this new Cultures of Sharing movement. Regarding openness as accessibility and transparency only in the sense of meeting society's expectations or to make science better understandable, would be too narrowly considered. Openness leads to the creation of new environments for public debate and participation.

However, science administration and policy are facing the challenges of
1)how to realise
2)which forms of involvement,
3)and how to learn from bottom-up or grassroots movements.
In my talk I will further elaborate on how participatory approaches could foster active engagement instead of passive audiences.

Furthermore, we need to understand that OS brings about many different publics. Making science open also means to reflect on the publics created by this move. At the same time, we need to be aware of established communities that either call for the opening of science or have already opened up knowledge production, such as the Do-It-yourself movement in synthetic biology, the idea of open design or open source software.

Today we already see many innovative platforms of collaboration that allow us to ask what kind of infrastructures OS requires and how they can be translated into sustainable social spaces. The cultivation of sharing practices in OS environments also draws attention to the skills necessary to conduct research or navigate OS successfully. Here again, we can learn from established practices in other social fields when composing effective training frameworks for scholars, researchers and project officers.

Last, but not least OS is a vital element in the concept of Open Innovation based on the idea that commons are not beyond, but complimentary to the state and the market. Applying alternative knowledge production- and governance models cleverly will help to increase the pace of societal development especially in areas of pressing concern.
Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Brussels Abstract
'Science 2.0' can be understood as a systemic change in the modus operandi of doing research and organising science. This transition of the science and research system results predominantly from a bottom-up process driven by the increasing number of researchers operating in a globally networked digital system, the explosion of data made available through open access, and by the increasing societal demand to address the Grand Challenges of our times. The key-stakeholders (universities, research funders, libraries, researchers, publishers, businesses) find themselves in various stages of responding or adapting to the evolving situation. For example, universities are considering new ways to evaluate researchers' careers and requiring new types of research skills from researchers. The impact of research is of growing importance to research funding organisations in their peer review system. Publishers are moving towards models of Open Access to publications and research data. New players emerge with regard to determining the impact of research.
The European Commission - DG Research and Innovation - has launched a consultation on Science 2.0 with the aim to create awareness of the phenomenon and to consult the stakeholders at large on key drivers, barriers, and opportunities that are transforming science and research.
Founder and Director, Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Faculty of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, Paris
Member, Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development; Chair, ERA Council Forum Austria, Vienna Chair

Mag. Dr. Katja MAYER

Visiting Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna

 Katja Mayer studied sociology, physics and philosophy at the University of Vienna. She works as sociologist in the field of science and technology studies, has wide experience in science communication and administration. She held a position as research associate of the president of the European Research Council (2011-2013). From 2009-2011 she worked at the Information Retrieval Facility, an open research platform for search engine science. Besides being a freelance IT consultant with a special focus on open source content management systems and databases, she was research assistant in a philosophical research project on performativity (2005-2007). Before that she was responsible for content development, research and production of lecture series and exhibitions at Public Netbase/Institute of New Cultural Technologies, Vienna (
 Recently she was invited as Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, Institute for Software Research. She has been teaching at the Department of Social Studies of Science and Technology, the Department of Sociology, both University of Vienna, at the Art University Linz, and at the Danube University Krems.
 Her research interests are manifold: open data, scientific visualization and imagination practices, the various enactments of social scientific knowledge, science communication, computer machine interfaces, information retrieval, new digital methodologies, social and semantic networks.

Robert-Jan SMITS

Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Brussels

 Director-General of DG Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission. In this capacity he is responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation (average annual budget 8 billion euro).
 Instrumental in the development of several other policy initiatives in the field of European science and innovation such as: the European Research Council (ERC), the European Roadmap for large scale facilities, Public-Private Partnerships in research, the Innovation Union and the European Research Area (ERA).
 Mr Smits is chairing several high-level committees such as European Research Area Committee (ERAC), the Steering Committee of the ERC (ERCEA) and joint S&T committees with Europe's key global partners.
 Mr Smits was born in The Netherlands. He has degrees from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d'Hautes Études Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.
2014-2020 One of the main architects and negotiators of Horizon 2020, the new 80 billion EU programme for science and innovation.

Ph.D. Francois TADDEI

Founder and Director, Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Faculty of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, Paris

 After having studied mostly math, physics and engineering in the French "grandes écoles" Ecole Polytechnique (1986-1989) and ENGREF (1989-1991), he has held a tenured position as a higher civil servant of the French Agriculture Administration (Ministère de l Agriculture, Paris) since 1991. Being so early on a tenured track has allowed him to develop original interdisciplinary projects, although at the cost of having to work as a civil servant in France for at least 10 years. After his PhD in molecular genetics in 1995, he was able to broaden his scientific education, learning new concepts and techniques while visiting the labs of colleagues. He spent his postdoctoral training with the late John Maynard-Smith in Sussex (1996) and with his colleague Pierre-Henri Gouyon in Orsay (1997), focusing on population genetics and evolution. In addition, he had the opportunity to witness the development of the novel tools pioneered in the lab of physics & biology lead by Stan Leibler in Rockfeller (2001) or Ouyang Qi in Peking University in 2007. Since 1997, he has held the position of a full-time research scientist in INSERM.
 Working at the interface between many disciplines, he had the privilege to present his results to a wide diversity of audiences, including mathematicians, computer scientists, system biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, physicists, demographers, geneticists and evolutionary biologists.
 He also holds the position of Head of the interdisciplinary (M2) master program for life sciences, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris 7 University and Paris 5 Universities, and is the Founder of the Paris Interdisciplinary college (Faculty of Medecine, Paris 5), the "Festival de sciences Paris-Montagne" and the Founder of the interdisciplinary graduate school: life frontiers.

Dr. Ph.D. Helga NOWOTNY

Member, Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development; Chair, ERA Council Forum Austria, Vienna

1959 Doctorate in Jurisprudence, University of Vienna
1969 Ph.D. in Sociology, Columbia University, New York
  Teaching and Research Positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Vienna; King's College, Cambridge; University of Bielefeld; Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; Ecole des Hautes Etudes et Sciences Sociales, Paris; Science Center for Social Sciences, Berlin; Collegium Budapest
1996-2002 Professor of Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich
1998-2004 Director, "Collegium Helveticum", ETH Zurich
2001-2006 Chair, EURAB - European Research Advisory Board of the European Commission
2002-2004 Director, Branco Weiss Fellowship Programme "Society in Science"
2005-2011 Chair, Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Vienna
2007-2010 Vice-President ERC - European Research Council
  Professor em., Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich
2010-2013 President, ERC - European Research Council

Technology Symposium

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology BrunchSocial
13:00 - 13:10Opening of the Alpbach Technology Symposium 2014Plenary
13:10 - 14:00RTI Policy at the CrossroadsPlenary
14:00 - 15:45Industry 4.0 - The Next Industrial Revolution?Plenary
16:15 - 17:45Stanford, this Year's Special Guest at the Technology Symposium: Innovation and the Culture of FailurePlenary
20:00 - 21:30Us and Our Brains - Neuroscience at the CrossroadsPlenary
21:45 - 23:00Career LoungeSocial
21:45 - 23:00Evening ReceptionSocial


09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 01: Technology - Global Market: Austrian Technologies for the Global MarketBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 02: Future Technology-Hotspots - Does Europe Stand a Chance?Breakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 03: The Challenge of Disruptive Innovation: Strategies for Successful CopingBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 04: Agile and Robust Supply Chains - How to Manage Volatility Across Your BusinessBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 05: Bioenergy - The Way to the Future or a Dead End?Breakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 06: The Cost of the City of the Future - Socio-Economic Aspects of Smart CitiesBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 07: Smart Energy: Challenges of an Interdisciplinary Energy TransitionBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 08: Science in Society - How to Overcome a DisjunctureBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 09: IP Strategies in Enterprises: Challenges for IP Management and Innovation PolicyBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 10: How to Finance Research - Publicly or Privately? New Models for a Globalised WorldBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Breakout Session 11: Innovations in Acoustics: Future Trends in Industry and Modern LifeBreakout
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
16:00 - 16:45Digital UniversityPlenary
16:45 - 18:15Open Science - The Place of and for People in Our KnowledgePlenary
18:30 - 20:00Cities at the CrossroadsPlenary
20:00 - 22:00Urban Innovators Challenge - The Future of CitiesPartner


09:00 - 10:30Complexity Science - IPlenary
10:30 - 11:15Complexity Science - IIPlenary
11:45 - 13:15Innovation at the Art Science InterfacePlenary
13:15 - 13:30Closing Statement of the Alpbach Technology SymposiumPlenary
13:30 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial