Establishing a sense of direction is first step for open science cloud – Dr Juan Bicarregui

Publié le 30 novembre 2017, par Thérèse Hameau

Changing the way science is done in Europe is the first job in setting up the European open science cloud, a huge shared data repository that will enable data from all publicly-funded research to be freely accessible, according to Dr Juan Bicarregui from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK.

You coordinate the EUR 10 million European open science cloud pilot project, which is laying the groundwork to develop the open science cloud. Could you remind us what the ultimate ambition is for the cloud ?

‘One of the things Commissioner Moedas (the EU’s research, science and innovation commissioner) has said, which I agree with completely, is that this is going to allow a new generation of scholars to share and communicate data and discoveries in a way that has never been done before. The idea is, that everyone can share their information, the computer services, the algorithms, the analysis of the data, in order to make better discoveries. If you read a paper and you see a graph, you will be able to click on the graph and you’ll get the data of what’s behind that graph. You can also read up on the analysis that produced the data. That will push science along a lot more quickly.’


There’s been a lot of debate and discussion about how the European open science cloud should proceed. What are your thoughts about this ?

‘There’s a balance that needs to be struck between continuing to develop the domain-specific infrastructure and trying to share infrastructures across domains. That’s what most of the debate has been about – where’s the sweet spot between those two. If we could share infrastructure then we could be more efficient. In theory sharing is good, but in practice it can be difficult to get it right.’