International Data Forum

International Data Forum


Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Sheraton Downtown Denver
Denver, Colorado USA

The first decades of the 21st century have seen an explosive growth in the human capacity to acquire, store and instantaneously communicate digital data. It has profound implications for societies, their economies and the way that information and knowledge are created and used. It is a revolution that has not yet run its course, and is the focus for International Data Week: Mobilising the Digital Revolution: from Big Data to Open Data, which takes place in Denver, Colorado, USA from 11-17 September 2016.  

At the heart of the week, a day-long International Data Forum, with the theme “Data for the Public Good: Responsibilities, Opportunities and Dangers in a Data Aware Society,” will debate potential data-contingent transformations in civil society, government, health, education, and science.  

The International Data Forum brings together international researchers, industrialists, policy makers and educators to discuss the major opportunities and challenges of the data revolution, from ‘Big Data’ to ‘Open Data.’  Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from world-renown keynote speakers and collaborate with each other regarding the national and international dimensions of the data revolution, its implications for research and policy, and the linkages between research, industry and education that are required for the global community to fully exploit new opportunities.


Morning Sessions

09:00-09:10 Welcome Ceremony

09:10-10:30 Opening Keynote Addresses: “Maintaining Scientific Rigour and Enhancing Discovery”
Moderator: Heide Hackmann
Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU)

Focusing on the importance of scientific research principles and standards as they relate to open data. Specific topics to be highlighted may reference the aspect of self-correction with open data and the scrutiny of scientific claims, new opportunities for scientific inference and ensuring valid reasoning, the potential of linked open data, addressing global challenges, and doing science in the 21st century. 

09:10-09:20 Opening & Introduction: Heide Hackmann
Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU)

Philip Bourne 

Associate Director for Data Science, National Institutes of Health 

"Maintaining Scientific Rigor and Enhancing Discovery"


Edit Herczog

European Parliament; Managing Director for Vision & Values SPRL

"From Big Data to Open Data"

10:10-10:30 Moderated panel discussion with keynote speakers
10:30-11:00 Networking Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 Panel Discussion: “Open Data as a Public Good and the Responsibilities of Scientists”
Moderator: Sandy Harrison
Centre for Past Climate Change at the University of Reading and Chair of World Data System Scientific Committee

This panel of distinguished guests who represent government and academic sectors will discuss the responsibility of scientists to make publicly-funded research results open for reuse by others and how to address national and international inequalities of data access.

11:00-11:10 Introduction, Sandy Harrison
11:10-11:20 Myron P. Gutmann
University of Colorado Boulder
Balancing Scientific Responsibility and the Public Good
11:20-11:30 Victoria Stodden
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Scientific Transparency, Integrity and Reproducibility
11:30-11:40 Takashi Onishi
President of Science Council of Japan (SCJ)
Open Data as Game Changer for Natural Disaster Prevention
11:40-12:10 Moderated Panel Discussion with all speakers
12:10-12:30 Q&A Session
12:30-13:30 Lunch

Data Stories Session

13:30-14:30 Data Stories
Moderator: Bernard Minster

Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Jane Hunter
University of Queensland, Australia
Data Story I: “Combining People Power with Satellites to capture  the true extent of Coral Bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

Christine White
Federation of Earth Science Partners (ESIP), United States
Data Story II: “Lessons from the Edge: What a Contest for 5th Graders Teaches about Science Communication

Unni Karunakara
Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University and Former International President, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Switzerland

Data Story III: "Humanitarianism: Action + Data"

Afternoon Sessions

14:30-16:00 Panel Discussion: Responsible Openness
Moderator: Chris Greer
Senior Executive for Cyber-Physical Systems, NIST

An active discussion focusing on how responsible consideration of privacy & confidentiality, safety & security, intellectual property, and legal constraints can promote open data sharing.

14:30-14:40 Introduction, Chris Greer

Brian Bot

Sage Bionetworks

"Research participation as a social contract"


Christopher Horsethief
Ktunaxa Nation Council

"Trust, Openness & Limits in First Nations Communities"


Eva Méndez
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

"Responsible Research and Innovation"

15:10-15:40 Moderated Panel Discussion with all speakers 
15:40-16:00 Q&A Session
16:00-16:30 Networking Coffee Break

16:30-17:45  Data for the Public Good – A Next-generation Vision

Moderator: Francine BermanCo-Chair, RDA Council; RDA/US Chair; Hamilton Distinguished Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  

The IDF will conclude with a view from the next generation of data professionals.  As data becomes more ubiquitous and fundamental for every aspect of life, how will our responsibilities and opportunities evolve?  How does the current generation of digital natives see the impact of data on their work lives and the broader society?  What does the horizon look like to them?  The session will provide a glimpse of the views of next generation professionals about the brave new world of data.


17:45-18:00 Closing Statements
Geoffrey Boulton
University of Edinburgh, President of CODATA
19:30-21:30 Social event