New podcast Utrecht Young Academy: The Road to Open Science

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In a new podcast series the Utrecht Young Academy put a spotlight on the open science debate. Producer Sanli Faez writes about what you can expect in the upcoming episodes.

This week the first episode of the podcast series the Road to Open Science was launched. The open science movement aims, among other things, to make science more accessible and transparent. This ideal is met with a lot of positive response, but at the same time, the movement is debated and even meets resistance from several sides, for example from publishers. In the different episodes of the podcast hosts Sanli Faez and Lieven Heeremans follow the path to open science through the perspective of several key figures and inquire about their research, initiative or experiences in relation to open science. The guests in every episode come from different disciplines within the academic community but are all at the forefront of the open science movement.

In the first episode, titled ‘A social dilemma’, we want to start at the beginning: what is open science and why does it seem so difficult to really make open science more common? For a lot of people within the academic community the subject is still an unclear or even unknown territory. Others, who have already gained more knowledge on the topic, have different views when it comes to definitions and where to start.

We talked to an expert in this field: Sascha Friesike, assistant professor Digital Innovation at VU Amsterdam and associated researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin. Sascha is one of the editors and writers of the book Opening Science, on the significant impact of internet on research, collaboration and publishing practices. He has done much research on open science practices. In this podcast he will tell us more about the various definitions and the barriers to a wider embrace of open science. According to Sascha, there is a contradiction between the goals of the academic system and those of the individual scientist. He describes this current situation as a social dilemma: ‘Individual rationality leads to collective irrationality.’

Our second guest is Frank Miedema, professor of Immunology, dean and vice chairman of the board at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. He is also one of the initiators of Science in Transition. Miedema generally confirms the issues that are raised by Friesike: he expresses that ‘The purpose of the individual is not in sync anymore with the purpose of the system.’ In his opinion, the management of universities and big funders are responsible in the first instance to change the current situation and they must add to their efforts to improve the incentives and reward system.

You can listen to the podcast via the website of the Open Science Community Utrecht. The discussions about each episode will also be hosted on this portal. What are your opinions on the issues that are raised in this first episode? How to solve this social dilemma, who needs to take action, what should be done? We are eager to hear what you think! Please feel welcome to engage in the discussion on the website. You can also directly engage with the producers via Twitter. Follow @R2OS for links to the next episodes and all the references that are discussed in each episode.

The episodes will also be available on the podcast channels of the Utrecht Young Academy via Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes, where you can find all episodes of the Voice of UYA podcast series as well.

The next episode featuring Kirstie Whitaker (Alan Turing Institute, London), Daniel Lakens (TU Eindhoven) and Anita Eerland and Loek Brinkman (Open Science Community Utrecht) will be launched in a few weeks.

The Road to Open Science podcast series is an initiative of the Utrecht Young Academy supported by the Utrecht University Library.

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