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

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

1969 Ph.D. in Sociology, Columbia University, New York
1996-2002 Professor of Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich
  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
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
2010-2013 President, ERC - European Research Council
  Professor em., Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich

Technology Symposium

show timetable


08:00 - 10:30Technology BrunchSocial
11:00 - 11:10Opening of the Alpbach Technology Symposium 2014Plenary
11:10 - 12:00RTI Policy at the CrossroadsPlenary
12:00 - 13:45Industry 4.0 – The Next Industrial Revolution?Plenary
14:15 - 15:45Stanford, this Year’s Special Guest at the Technology Symposium: Innovation and the Culture of FailurePlenary
18:00 - 19:30Us and Our Brains – Neuroscience at the CrossroadsPlenary
19:45 - 21:00Evening ReceptionSocial
19:45 - 21:00Career LoungeSocial


07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 01: Technology – Global Market: Austrian Technologies for the Global MarketBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 02: Future Technology-Hotspots – Does Europe Stand a Chance?Breakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 03: The Challenge of Disruptive Innovation: Strategies for Successful CopingBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 04: Agile and Robust Supply Chains – How to Manage Volatility Across Your BusinessBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 05: Bioenergy – The Way to the Future or a Dead End?Breakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 06: The Cost of the City of the Future – Socio-Economic Aspects of Smart CitiesBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 07: Smart Energy: Challenges of an Interdisciplinary Energy TransitionBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 08: Science in Society – How to Overcome a DisjunctureBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 09: IP Strategies in Enterprises: Challenges for IP Management and Innovation PolicyBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 10: How to Finance Research – Publicly or Privately? New Models for a Globalised WorldBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Breakout Session 11: Innovations in Acoustics: Future Trends in Industry and Modern LifeBreakout
07:00 - 16:00Junior Alpbach – Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
07:00 - 13:00Ö1 Children’s University Alpbach – Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
14:00 - 14:45Digital UniversityPlenary
14:45 - 16:15Open Science – The Place of and for People in Our KnowledgePlenary
16:30 - 18:00Cities at the CrossroadsPlenary
18:00 - 20:00Urban Innovators Challenge – The Future of CitiesPartner


07:00 - 08:30Complexity Science – IPlenary
08:30 - 09:15Complexity Science – IIPlenary
09:45 - 11:15Innovation at the Art Science InterfacePlenary
11:15 - 11:30Closing Statement of the Alpbach Technology SymposiumPlenary
11:30 - 12:00Snack ReceptionSocial