RDA in the Life Sciences

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29 Jul 2020
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The life sciences have created many of their own data standards, and have often led the way in standards formulation and good data management. Life scientists are constantly engaged through global collaborations to work on new standards and data commons (e.g.ELIXIR, GA4GH, HL7, the NIH cloudbased platforms). Some of this work is indeed specific to disciplines within the life sciences. Life science communities have understandably also ventured into standards of more general applicability. Diseases like COVID-19 and cancer have widespread impact on well-being. Agriculture is concerned with the basic human need for food. Both are major parts of all economies. Society recognizes this and  provides significant resources to life sciences research. This enables those who work in the field to fill the broader gap but we should not do so in isolation. The broader standard creation may at times occur in a life science bubble, potentially unaware of applicable work that has been done in other disciplines or in the context of inter-disciplinary organisations such as the RDA. This can negatively impact inter-disciplinary data and tool interoperability. The ELIXIR Bridging Force interest group has, since its inception, tried to bridge this gap by facilitating communication and transfer of best practices and ongoing discussions arising from the global perspective of RDA towards the life-sciences community. In the opposite direction, the motivation to relieve human suffering and improve quality of life brings  experience, energy and resources from life science developments into RDA. While this sets the overall picture, there is a more immediate issue. Though this group has been collaborating with other continents, it is currently formally exclusively representing the ELIXIR infrastructure for Life science Data in Europe. In this session we want to make a step towards globalizing the representation.


  • Outline ongoing activities of the ELIXIR Life Sciences community that relate to RDA
  • Work together towards broader representation.

And potentially:

  • Investigate potential WG outputs that could be adopted by the Life Sciences community (or be transformed to best practices)
  • Explore the future activities of the group (Task Forces or WGs)
Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative Notes Link:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G67b5zK60uYpVx8ZGKj4hPZtHGFycSyXcwZT...


0:00 Session intro
0:05 Europe: Rob Hooft History of the group and state of ELIXIR
0:20 Report of an ELIXIR-internal meeting where we discussed the future of this group
0:30 USA: Susan Gregurick, Associate director of Data Science, Director of NIH's Office of Data Science Strategy
0:45 Australia: Andrew Lonie, Director of Australian BioCommons
1:00 Africa?
1:15 Elect chairs
1:20 Brainstorm: defining collaborative goals 
1:30 End

Target Audience: 

Life scientists from all continents active in RDA

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The ELIXIR Bridging Force IG bridges the activities of the ELIXIR “Data For Life” research infrastructure in Europe with the activities of RDA in two directions: bringing in expertise gained in European bioinformatics into RDA, and bringing RDA experience to the benefit of the European Life Science researchers. The ELIXIR Bridging Force IG was one of the first discipline specific IGs of the RDA.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Meeting presenters: 
Susan Gergurick, Andrew Lonie, Rob Hooft