UNESCO Science Report 2021: The Time for Open Science is Now

Authors call for more Open Science and Open Access to maximise the potential of global science

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently presented the UNESCO Science Report 2021 titled The Race against Time for Smarter Development ahead of the G7 meeting. In the series, the organisation observes worldwide developments in science policy. The current report describes in essays and studies how different countries are using science to realise a digitally and environmentally smart future. In the essay The Time for Open Science is Now, the authors argue, among other things, for the expansion of open science and open access. That way, they point out, science and research can contribute their full potential to sustainable development in the face of climate change and pandemics.

The essay The Time for Open Science is Now begins on page twelve of the 700-page report. Among other things, the authors call for timely, free access for all to data, publications, information and innovations of the highest quality in order to meet the global challenges of both our time and the future - climate change, pandemics, natural disasters and loss of biodiversity.  Furthermore, they argue for a modern, vibrant scientific community that extends beyond the walls of scientific organisations, across disciplines and traditional ways of doing science. They also argue for an informed society that is well equipped to combat misinformation and to support evidence-based decision-making. The authors also highlight the need for infrastructure and platforms which ensure that this wealth of information and data reaches everyone.

The increasingly digital world, so the report states, gives the scientific community an unprecedented opportunity to harness the immense potential of science for the benefit of society. Scientists now have the opportunity to share their research data and other materials by making them freely available online, under conditions that allow these research results to be reused, reproduced and redistributed. This approach, the authors feel, is the heart of open science. The Open Science movement, the authors hope, can make the once closed science system more transparent, inclusive and democratic. Open science leads to faster and more efficient ways of doing science - a kind of science that is easier to verify and therefore of a higher quality.

You can read the essay The Time for Open Science is Now here: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000377433/PDF/377433eng.pdf.multi.page=32
Please find the full UNESCO Science Report 2021 here: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000377433/PDF/377433eng.pdf.multi.page=1