COMSTECH and UNESCO Organize Webinar on Open Science

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Islamabad, : COMSTECH and UNESCO organized a webinar on open science on Thursday.

Prof. Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director and UNESCO representative to China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia, Prof. Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari, Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan, and Prof. Dr. Claudia Bauzer Medeiros, Institute of Computing, University of Campinas, Brazil addressed the webinar by giving one-hour long talk each to more than 250 participants joined online from different OIC states.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan said that if we want to solve global challenges like COVID then we must share science, its products like vaccines and should be able to make solutions work together. He said we must nurture cooperation beyond boundaries. He said that unfortunately, there still exist scientific and digital divide in the world. Prof. Shahbaz mentioned that to achieve the sustainable development goals we need quality science. He said that open science is about creating opportunities for increased scientific collaboration, sharing of information and benefits. It is about knowledge being openly available, accessible, and reusable.

Prof. Shinwari said that as the world is divided into haves and have nots, the same is the case with science. He stressed that we have to do a lot on the issue of inequality. He said that there is a need to address governance and sustainability issues to have open science. Prof. Shinwari stressed the need of a comprehensive policy of inclusiveness, funding, infrastructure, and incentives. He said that all scientists are responsible to the society and emphasized that the work of scientists must benefit the society.

Prof. Claudia said that we can do a lot to open science through sharing our data. She said science is a public good and a basic human right, outputs of publically financed research are a public good and must be made public as soon as possible, while respecting the principles of scientific ethics, privacy, security and protection of intellectual property. Prof. Claudia said the design, execution and results of a research project should be open under ethical and legal constraints.

Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. Iqbal Choudhary gave introductory talk and said that COMSTECH is striving to gather people from different countries by conducting such webinars to build scientific capacity. He said we are proud to have partnership with UNESCO. Prof. Choudhary said the cost of publication policy is really important factor. He said despite doing good quality science, if you don’t have money you would not be able to publish it, and it is very unfortunate. This publication policy really needs a fresh thinking and open science can play an important role.