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Policy oriented information science: How to aim big data science towards Pasteur’s Quadrant
September 28, 2014 - October 3, 2014
At the end of September and back-to-back with the conference of the European Society for Complexity Science, a training school takes place in Lucca, titled Policy oriented information science: How to aim big data
science towards Pasteur’s Quadrant. Hereby, Pasteur’s quadrant refers to the domain of research that is both basic (‘blue sky’) and applied. Endeavors that fall into this category have traditionally belonged to the Science and
Engineering domain where the direct technological applications are clearly identifiable. But with recent advances in ICT combined with the availability of large comprehensive datasets, it has become increasingly feasible to pursue
social sciences and humanities (SS&H) research that clearly satisfies both criteria of Pasteur’s Quadrant. In order to ensure that SS&H research has a real ‘societal impact’ — an important precondition of many EU grant proposals — understanding the policy maker audience in the development, output, and assessment phase is crucial. In practice, making SS&H research applicable and feasible in the real world requires effectively communicating the research findings to policy makers, a task which often proves difficult for a multitude of reasons. In addition to learning how to effectively communicate research findings, there are several other important reasons to better understand the science-policy interface. For example, governments and other large institutions have access to vast amounts of data that could be of valuable use to the SS&H and ICT domains. Hence, it behooves information scientists to communicate better with policy makers of the vast untapped value in this data. The data and visualization methods developed by information scientists also have remarkable value in the education process, especially as younger generations are becoming more reliant on, and also proficient within, the digital world. Altogether, there are various hurdles in overcoming the science-policy, such as the sensitivity of opening public data due to privacy concerns and the particularly complex nature of ‘post-normal’ science which intersects society. This COST training school will collect practicing IT scientists, scientists who are active at the sciencepolicy interface, and individuals familiar with policy experience, in order to provide an integrative learning session with the goal of developing practical guidelines that can be used by data-oriented SS&H and complex systems scientists who are aiming their research towards Pasteur’s quadrant.
Local organizer: Alexander Petersen, Maximo Riccaboni