Open access, open data, open source – science is changing and the possibilities could be endless.
In July, Horizon looks at the practicalities and implications of open science - a drive to increase free access to research data and enable more citizens to share their ideas with academics.
The increasing digitisation of research means that there are more and more opportunities for collaboration between researchers, and for publicly funded researchers to share their findings and data.
Open science is a priority for Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who called for Europe to adopt 'a new strategy that is fit for purpose for a world that is open, digital and global' during A new start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation, an event organised on 22-23 June in Brussels.
Nature Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell explains his belief that academic journals will be free to read eventually, and we hear from a citizen scientist about what they get out of helping researchers gather their data.
We also hear about plans for a European Science Cloud to give researchers access to data and resources, wherever they are.
A lot of lip service is being paid to making scientific papers free to access but when it comes to action there is a lot of hypocrisy, according to Robert-Jan Smits, the EU's outgoing director-general for research, science and innovation. He has recently been appointed the EU's special envoy on open access, tasked with helping make all publicly funded research in Europe freely available by 2020.
Open science should mean that citizens have the chance to put questions to scientists and have a say on the kind of innovations that are being funded, according to Professor Alan Irwin from the Copenhagen Business School.
Researchers and funding agencies will foot the cost of publishing academic papers rather than readers, as academic journals adapt to a world in which open access becomes increasingly important, according to Nature Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell.
The construction industry has a heavy carbon footprint, accounting for some 40% of global emissions, and yet, as the world’s population grows, demand for housing and building is only soaring. We kick off 2021 by looking at how the construction sector can become greener and some of the radical solutions required. We speak to sustainable architecture expert Dr Catherine De Wolf about the need to design recyclable buildings and how that will require a fundamental restructure of the way the construction industry works. We look at nearly zero energy wooden homes and investigate whether this material can help us kick our concrete habit – concrete being the most used substance on Earth. We home in on techniques to make cement greener and piezoelectric to light up spaces with the addition of vegetable waste, and at how self-healing building materials can prolong the life of civil infrastructures. And we explore the promise of fungal architecture to see whether structures grown from fungus can green the way we build.
In December, as the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission to create a precise 3-D map of a billion objects in the Milky Way releases its next tranche of data, we take an in-depth look at what we know – and what we don’t – about our home galaxy. We speak to astrophysicist Prof. Ralf Klessen about why it might enhance our understanding of the Milky Way to consider it as a constantly evolving ecosystem rather than studying different parts in an isolated way. We speak to scientists who are trying to image the centre of the galaxy, which is hidden from view behind giant dust and gas clouds, and we explore the latest research into how stars are formed. And finally, we find out what the galaxies surrounding the Milky Way can tell us about our home system.
There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide and about 50 eruptions occur each year. But it’s still difficult to predict when and how these eruptions will happen or how they’ll unfold. Now, new insight into the physical processes inside volcanoes are giving scientists a better understanding of their behaviour, which could help protect the 1 billion people who live close to volcanoes.
Better predictions of volcano behaviour could protect people and infrastructure.
Bacteria can give structures an ‘in-built immune system’ to help them last longer.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.