Agenda and Presentations

DAY 1 – Monday 13 November, 10.30-17.30 (Wolfson Room) with reception (Wolfson Room Two) 17.30-18.45:

Why? The imperatives for interdisciplinary research and for data integration

Day 1 of the workshop will explore the imperatives for interdisciplinary research and for data integration.  A set of presentations will provide case studies from 1) specific disciplines; 2) interdisciplinary research areas; and, 3) global monitoring or observation.  Speakers will highlight the science questions or monitoring issues and discuss the data required, the need for diverse data from multiple disciplines, and the challenges of data interoperability and integration.

10:30-11.00 Introduction to the workshop and objectives (Geoffrey Boulton)

                    Perspective from the International Council for Science (Heide Hackmann)

                    Discussion and questions for clarification on the purpose of the meeting

11.00-11.15 A common model for scientific observations and samples (Simon Cox)

11:15-12.30 Presentations covering case studies (15 minutes each) from:

  1. Disciplines:
        1. Crystallography (Simon Coles, Southampton, International Union of Crystallography (IUCr))
        2. Biodiversity (Dimitris Koureas, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
        3. Geosciences (Peter Fox on Deep Time Data Infrastructure (DTDI))
  2. Interdisciplinary research areas:
        1. Vasa Curcin, Kings College London (KCL), ‘Delivering Learning Health Systems – a cross-disciplinary challenge’.
        2. Stephen Passmore, ‘Resilient Cities’, Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme and èResilience Brokers’.
        3. Laura Merson, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, ‘Tracking and Treatment of Infectious Diseases’.
        4. David Abreu, CGIAR, Agricultural Research and Food Security.
        5. Mike Oldham, National Physical Laboratories (NPL), Data Integration and Industrial Research Challenges/Opportunities.
  3. Monitoring:
        1. Sendai (Virginia Murray & Kevin Blanchard, Public Health England (PHE).
        2. SDGs (Tom Orrell, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data).

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Presentations continued.

15.00-15.30 Afternoon Tea

16.00-17.15 Discussions around the questions indicated below.

Questions for discussion

  1. What are the drivers for interdisciplinary research and for data integration?
  2. What are the social and technical challenges of interdisciplinary data integration and semantic linking?
  3. Can we identify examples of interdisciplinary data-intensive research and the potential for a major flagship project(s) on data integration?

17.15-17.30 Natasha McCarthy and Louise Pakseresht to give a short presentation on Royal Society Data Activities.

17.30-19.00 Reception hosted by Richard Catlow, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society.

DAY 2 – Tuesday 14 November, 09.00-17.30 (Kohn Centre): How?

Supporting and developing data capacities and sharing across the spectrum of research domains.

Day 2 will be in three parts and will explore how disciplines and some interdisciplinary initiatives have addressed the specific challenges of interoperability and data integration.  The day will start in Part A with a survey exemplars of disciplinary provision and their scientific impacts, and examine the agreements and tools necessary for effective data registration and sharing. Part B will assess the patterns of activity across the disciplines of science in order to develop a synthesis. Part C will showcase exemplar platforms for interoperability and sharing.

9:00-9.15 Recap from Day 1. Opportunity to raise any outstanding issues.

9.15-10.30 Part A – Survey of exemplars of disciplinary and interdisciplinary initiatives.

Each presenter will speak for 15 minutes and provide an overview of what their community has accomplished in standardising:

  1. Data repositories
  2. Data models, structures and formats
  3. Controlled vocabularies
  4. Identifier systems
  5. Services or APIs
  6. Governance of the technical components

Particularly reflecting on:

  • What worked and why?
  • What has failed and why?
  • Tools and platforms
  • Engagements and incentives
  • Endorsement by Union, or other peak body

A1: Disciplines

  • Francois Robida, BRGM – International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)
  • Bob Hanisch, NIST – International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • Jeremy Frey, Southampton – International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
  • Stephen Nortcliff, Reading – International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS)

10.30-11.00 Morning tea

11.00-12.30 Presentations continued.

A2: Interdisciplinary initiatives

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Part B – structured discussion in order to develop a synthesis covering:

  • Engagement patterns
  • Incentives
  • Tools and practices

15.00-15.30 Afternoon Tea

15.30-17.00 Part C – Platforms for standards and interoperability

17.00 Close.

DAY 3 –  Wednesday 15 November, 09.00-15.00 (Wolfson Room): Where to next?  

A roadmap for an interdisciplinary pilot to promote the integration and interoperability of scientific data

The task of the final day is to determine next steps, and outline a roadmap for an interdisciplinary pilot to promote the integration and interoperability of scientific data, covering practices, support, coordination and governance.  The objective is to promote Union engagement with the development, endorsement and governance of data standards and to encourage exemplar activities to address issues of interoperability and data integration in the context of inter-disciplinary research projects.

Overview of objectives (Geoffrey Boulton, CODATA):

Identifying an interdisciplinary pilot (Irene Schöfberger, ICSU):

The day will be almost entirely built around structured discussion of the following topics:

  1. Identification of interdisciplinary pilots (1-2);
  2. Coordination of efforts: union and association liaisons, data science and standards organizations liaison, and other existing efforts;
  3. Timescales: up-dates on the work plans of unions and, community engagement;
  4. Funding: funding agencies, foundations, and international consortia; and
  5. Governance.

Download all the presentations as a zipped file