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  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · News

Science and the public good

17.11.2011

Introduction

On 21 November the Genomics Forum hosts a joint public discussion event with both The Royal Society of London and Edinburgh.

Story

The Royal Society of London is currently conducting a major policy study on the conduct of science as a public enterprise.

It is primarily concerned with “open science”, how the results of scientific inquiries can be made readily available in forms that permit them to be validated, replicated and reused in a digital age of vast data volumes, and how they can be made accessible to those citizens who wish to scrutinise the basis for scientific claims. It asks whether openness is an unqualified good, and what limitations should be placed upon it. The Royal Society is concerned with the governance of science and how science serves the public good.

As part of this study the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is hosting a joint public discussion forum with The Royal Society of London and The Royal Society of Edinburgh in Edinburgh on Monday 21 November at 6pm

For details and to book see: Science as a Public Enterprise; Why and How should Science be Open?

In advance of the public discussion an expert workshop will bring together leading social scientists concerned with the role of science in society, to consider a number of questions of direct relevance to the Royal Society’s inquiry:

  • Is science itself a public good? In what ways does science serve or subvert the public interest?
  • Is the publication of scientific data – so-called “open science” – necessarily in the public interest?
  • Under what conditions does it foster or undermine public trust in science?
  • How does open availability affect the value of scientific data?
  • Can the open publication of scientific data be reconciled with the protection of private interests, including the privacy of personal data and the legitimate pursuit of commercial interests?

Professor Steve Yearley, Director, ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forumand Bright Ideas Visiting Fellow Dr Iain Gillespie (Formerly Head of Science & Technology Policy Division, Directorate for Science Technology and Industry, OECD) will be amongst those offering keynote presentations at the expert workshop.

It is expected that the outcomes of this discussion will help to inform the recommendations of the Royal Society’s working group on science as a public enterprise.

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