Tuesday, 23 August 2016

CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science

I recently attended the 'CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science' at International Centre for Theoretical Physics,Trieste, Italy. With participants from almost 16 developing countries from varied academic backgrounds, we had an amazing workshop with all hands-on training with specific tools and softwares.
Middle East and South-east Asia
Opinions from Africa

Ideas about Open Science from East and Australia

Reasons not to share data and counter-arguments

The idea of Open Science and it's principles was the key focus of our workshop. We discussed a lot of myths and stereotypes surrounding our individual ideas of Open Science and how different factors influence different regions for open sharing.

While accessibility to Internet connection  is a major issue in Cuba, unwillingness to share one's work before publishing it is mostly common among all regions.
With hands-on practice, we learned about topics ranging from basics like Unix, R, SQL and Git to advance like Neural Networks, High Performance Computing, Distributed Environment and Visualization.

A peak into one of the visualization ideas

Participants experimenting with visual ideas through pen and paper

 We got lucky enough to grab the recent journal of 'Open Data in a Big world', too.

Apart from technical expertise, I met so many people and learned about new culture and places due to the global immersion. It was a lot of learning.The fact that how 'where we are born' can influence our lives so much, amazed me. How subtly we get entitled to so many things and we don't appreciate them enough!
A Saudi Arabian friend told me that there are still walls within the university classrooms to segregate boys and girls.While a Cuban guy shared that there is no internet there, for general people. Just because he's a professor, he can access the web at 36Kbps. I can't even imagine, both the situations!

Somehow, they depict how important and hard , open access and sharing of research is, for some communities. And it's a bigger and much needed goal!

My favorite success story from the workshop is about my roommate from India. With no technical background at all and complaints of how her programmer colleagues from office used to trick her by telling how complex work they are doing, she gained a huge confidence after the workshop and learned a lot of 'know-hows' about Data Science.

In and all, it was an amazing experience with lot of learning. I learned about international standards of Open access and data sharing. I got a huge community to keep the spirit of 'Open Science' high and spread across our own local communities.
Thank you all organizers, directors and sponsors for making it possible.