Commissioner Moedas addresses Open Research at ESOF 2016

Europe’s Voyage towards an open global research area

When science emerged in the 18th century in Europe, it was international and open. But over time, science became specialised and harder to access.

Speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum today, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas discussed the scientific and political need to share data in the current day.

“The 19th century enlarged the base for science. The 20th century was about individual nations – science was defined by one nation’s sprint to the finish line after the other,” he said.

“How will the 21st century be? A triangle of the public, scientists and data and it will require the public’s support to succeed. We are entering a new era for open science and it will no longer be about a single nation’s sprint to the finish line.”

Commissioner Moedas continued by highlighting that the public feel that science has left them behind.

“In the past, science was a matter of national pride and national security. Broadcasting brought science into people’s living rooms, but the future will rely on public access to data – the public need to be able to access data on the scientific areas they care about,” he said.

The conversation turned to the UK’s involvement in Horizon 2020, given its recent decision to leave the European Union. As the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, Horizon 2020 is the initiative aiming to secure Europe’s global competitiveness.

Despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Commissioner Moedas confirmed that the UK is still very much a part of Horizon 2020.

“Horizon 2020 will continue to be based on excellence and merit and not on nationality. Europe should not only be part of a global research area which embraces open science, but should lead the way. Europe is the first region to make open access the norm, but I haven’t seen this in the news – it is something great about Europe but we don’t see it,” he added.


Photo credit: Mark Wilkinson

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