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Data Ethics and the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

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    Suchith Anand

    Dear colleagues
    This session organised by the Data Ethics Working Group of the CODATA (Details at ) at the SciDataCon 2023 and International Data Week 2023 might be of interest 
    Data Ethics and the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science
    The growing application of big data and artificial intelligence in scientific research raises ethical and normative challenges, particularly in relation to openness, privacy, transparency, accountability, equity and responsibility. The Data Ethics Working group of CODATA is working with global scholars to collaboratively establish a basic consensus for further activities and research on data ethics principles and a data ethics framework covering the whole data life cycle. This will help CODATA to advance its mission in championing global open data exchange and applications in alignment with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. The proposed session will explore research and scholarly practice related to data ethics to advocate for open and ethical data practices at the global level.  The Sessions will take the form of a  lightning/ignition talk and structured panel discussion  to explore issues related to the following four themes:
    Theme 01: Ethics and Scientific Integrity -Joy Jang
    The UNESCO recommendation on Open Science emphasizes the role of research data in making knowledge openly available, accessible, and reusable for everyone. This thematic group focuses on data ethics and research integrity, covering the entire life cycle of research and the multiple perspectives of data users, providers, managers, funders, publishers, and other stakeholders. We discuss the topics of transparency, quality, reusability and impact of research as well as management and interpretation of research data, with a focus on collaborative efforts and the role of open scholarship in supporting research integrity. 
    Theme 02: Ethics and Protection of Personal Data – Masanori Arita
    The ethics and protection of sensitive and personal data cast critical questions related the appropriate conduct, usage, management, and storage. Explored questions include the politics and political economy of data — who and what has power in the context of data, and how do these power relationships play out in the context of different environments, such as the different markets and governments in which data is used? Modern technologies also enabled full sequencing of personal genomes, which are not only personal but also communal, national, and even continental. Discussion includes current data policies and pros and cons of data handling strategies.
    Theme 03: Ethics and Indigenous Data Governance -Johannes John-Langba
    In the era of open data and open science it is important that data on Indigenous knowledge is shared in an ethical manner. Decisions on what data is to be shared should lie with Indigenous populations themselves, ensuring their autonomy and informational self-determination. The subgroup focuses on data principles such as CARE and JUST. Moreover, both Indigenous data sovereignty and data ethics need institution building for data trustees (and similar intermediaries) which would enable selective digital disclosure. 
    Theme 04: Ethics, Global Power and Economic Relations – Louise Bezuidenhout
    How the UNESCO Recommendation is implemented to realise open and equitable OS in practice must account for the structural conditions shaping research at a national and individual level. Scholars in many national contexts face barriers such as lack of basic infrastructure, unsupportive national policy, the control of the research agenda by global north funders and the domination of oligopolistic publishers and Big Tech companies. At an individual level, researchers everywhere who do not fit the expected norm of a scholar (white, able bodied, male) face multiple barriers such as conscious and unconscious bias, racism, misogyny, career breaks and societal expectations about caring responsibilities.
    The session will be co-moderated by:
    Prof Johannes John-Langba & Prof Lianglin Hu
    Co-Chair: Data Ethics Working Group, CODATA
    More details at
    SciDataCon 2023 is part of International Data Week 2023: A Festival of Data, taking place 23 – 26 October in Salzburg.   IDW 2023 will be hosted by the University of Salzburg through its interdisciplinary Data Science group and the Geoinformatics department, supported by the Governor of Salzburg and with assistance from the Austrian Academy of Sciences – GIScience and the European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information.
    SciDataCon 2023: High-level Themes at
    Full program at
    Best wishes
    Dr Suchith Anand
    Senior Adviser to Governments and International Organisations | Scientist | AI Ethics | AI Governance | Policy | Consultant in Data and AI Ethics | Global Citizen | SDG Volunteer and Advocate

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