Time is of the essence when it comes to climate change and many look to Open Science to speed up research and innovation in response to the challenges faced.
The aim of this special theme, as with other Generation Research special topics, is to find example projects and tools that can inspire researcher and show pathways for implementing Open Science and Scholarship practices.
GenR welcomes contributions, collaboration, and suggestions, as: blogposts, repostings, notices, literature, and as contributions to an open pad ‘A Collaborative Listing: Open Science and Climate Change Resources’.
For this theme the inquiry will fall into two areas:
- firstly, technologies and innovations for a renewable energy future, and;
- secondly, monitoring and understanding the environment and the effects of climate change.
Open Science and Scholarship is not uniform across research disciplines and in areas related to climate change there are particular restrictions and countless edge cases that are barriers to openness — especially around patents and industry conventions that affect researchers and their working practices.
Below are two examples that illustrate research where Open Science is a game changer for climate change:
- In the area of a low carbon future there is the Open Energy Modelling Initiative. A grassroots project, where hundreds of researchers flock to its conferences by their own motivation. The aim of the initiative is to change energy policies by having transparent energy models, using open data and open source tools.
- For environmental monitoring Safecast is an open citizen science project. It is run by volunteers and was set up after the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for monitoring environmental radiation. It now has a global geographical reach, holding the largest dataset of its kind ever, and which has recently begun to include air quality as well.
Citizen Science also finds itself in a new context with a new public coming from the global climate change protests: Fridays for Future, Climate Strike, and Extinction Rebellion. These are newly invigorated audiences who want to participate in scholarship and to engage in science discourse and knowledge. Once again time is of the essence to respond and to gain a new situation awareness across academia to make new Citizen Science spaces for this demand coming from the public. Scientists for Future is one such initiative that is reaching out organized by academics in German speaking areas of Europe which has formed as a network for mobilisation and information to support the youth led protests (‘Statement of Scientists and Scholars Concerning the Protests for More Climate Protection – Scientists 4 Future’ 2019).
Ludwig Hülk joins the GenR team as a guest editor for this ‘Open Science and Climate Change’ theme. He is a researcher at the Reiner Lemoine Institute an independent, a non-profit research institute committed to a 100 percent renewable energy future. His research focuses on energy data, data management with database systems, and open science in energy system research.
At the end of the initial phase of the theme a summary will be published of our findings and GenR will continue covering the Open Science and Climate Change topic on an ongoing basis.
Opening image: Brisbane School Strike, 2018. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), School Strike – https://www.flickr.com/photos/160136040@N02/ | File https://www.flickr.com/photos/160136040@N02/46065128672/
Generation Research. ‘Collaborative Listing: Open Science and Climate Change’, 24 June 2019. https://cryptpad.fr/pad/#/2/pad/edit/98Vc1q4yY5shOkzrzR9w1iZ1/.
‘Openmod – Open Energy Modelling Initiative’. Accessed 24 June 2019. https://openmod-initiative.org/.
‘Safecast’. Safecast. Accessed 24 June 2019. https://blog.safecast.org/.
‘Scientists 4 Future’. Scientists 4 Future, 2019. https://www.scientists4future.org/.
Scientists 4 Future. ‘Statement of Scientists and Scholars Concerning the Protests for More Climate Protection – Scientists 4 Future’, 2019. https://www.scientists4future.org/stellungnahme/statement-text/.
‘Reiner Lemoine Institut’. Reiner Lemoine Institut. Accessed 24 June 2019. https://reiner-lemoine-institut.de/en/.