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Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs Division
The National Academies
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Phone: (202) 334-1531
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Symposium on Global Scientific Data Infrastructures
Board on Research Data and Information
Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences, Lecture Room
2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
As a society, we are building an ad hoc and distributed global data infrastructure to improve the interoperability of data. Government representatives of the United States, the European Union, Australia, and Canada are examining organizational models to coordinate efforts and mobilize community activity to accelerate the progress of data-intensive research. These models are community-based, building on examples such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its role in the Internet. Such models will be most successful if they can address priority needs of the community for infrastructure, tools, policy, standards, and other elements to facilitate data-driven innovation and discovery.
The Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI) is seeking to enable development of effective data community input by hosting a Forum discussion at its next meeting. The Forum will examine potential near-term actions and outcomes that can serve as a focus for community efforts toward a global organization for the exchange of scientific data, initially referred to as the Data Web Forum (DWF). The BRDI Forum will facilitate discussion of the following questions:
1. What useful short-term efforts and deliverables could a global scientific community organization take on that would facilitate data-driven interoperability? Are there any low-hanging fruits or some common elements or approaches that should be addressed early in the process?
2. What stakeholder communities are essential to success or to the implementation of the deliverables raised in #1? (see [1] below)  What could be done in the near term by such an organization to promote effective participation by these communities?
The discussion, which will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 29, 2012, will be structured as follows. The first 30 minutes or so will be devoted to a presentation of a plan for the formation of a global organization for scientific data infrastructures, the Data Web Forum, as currently conceived by representatives of two of the Board’s sponsoring agencies, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. This will be followed by two panels each consisting of several invited experts. The two panels will have one hour to address the questions posed in the statement of task. Members of the audience will also have an opportunity to make comments. A reception for all those attending the Forum will follow immediately upon its conclusion ar 5:45 p.m.
The Forum discussion will be audiocast via the web for real-time access and the submission of questions by a worldwide audience. The audiocast will be recorded and subsequently archived on the Board’s website for future reference. See for details later in August.
[1] Examples could include data center managers and owners, researchers and their representative scientific organizations, data and cloud services vendors, formal standards bodies, and the like.
Preliminary Agenda
(the Symposium will be audiocast)
3:00 p.m.         Opening Remarks by the Board Symposium Chairs
-          Fran Berman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
-          Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)    
3:10                 Description of the Data Web Forum (DWF) Organization
-         Alan Blatecky, National Science Foundation  [ PPT ]  [ MP3 (7.5 MB, includes Opening Remarks ]
3:40                 Panel One: Near-term Scientific Impacts of the DWF
                          Panel Moderator: Fran Berman, RPI
-          Philip Bourne, University of California at San Diego  [ PPT ]  [ MP3 (3.5 MB) ] 
-          Kelvin Droegemeier, University of Oklahoma [ MP3 (2.3 MB) ]
-          Peter Wittenburg, Max Planck Society - Institute for Psycholinguistics,  [ PPT ]  [ MP3 (3 MB) ] 
             and the iCORDI Project, The Netherlands (by videoconference)
                         -          Discussion  [ MP3 (4.5 MB) ]
4:40                 Panel Two: Stakeholder Communities in the DWF
                          Panel Moderator: Clifford Lynch, CNI
-          Robert Chen, Columbia University  [ PPT ]  [ MP3 (4 MB) ]
-          Stephen Friend, Sage Bionetworks [ PPT   ]  [ MP3 (5 MB) ]
-          Ann Wolpert, Massachusetts Institute for Technology  [ PPT ]  [ MP3 (5 MB) ]
-          Discussion  [ MP3 (3 MB)]
5:40                 Closing Remarks by the Board Forum Chairs  [ MP3 (239 KB) ]
5:45                 Meeting adjourns and reception