[No. 010] Technics and Civilization: Open Science and the Creative Commons Climate Campaign – Korea IT Times

“The Creative Commons launched their 4-Year Open Climate Campaign late last year in 2022, and I contacted a lead scientist on the project, Dr. Monica Granados (Canada) about this remarkable project. The open science movement has contributed greatly to public awareness and subsequent public participation in science and society….”

Postdoc in Data processing for open global environmental monitoring – WUR

“Are you a researcher skilled in software development and motivated in making Earth Observation data more accessible and impactful? Are you interested in working in a cutting-edge international consortium and research how different Earth Observation data clusters can interoperate? Then we are looking for you!

As a postdoctoral researcher, you will work on developing a backend for processing of global scale Earth Observation data within the novel Open Earth Monitor initiative. Your work is a key component for Open Earth Monitor to accelerate the uptake of environmental information to guide current and future users in research, decision making and citizens towards the most sustainable solutions.

Your task will be to make the Open Earth Monitor data processing backend interoperable with multiple satellite data and processing service providers, such as Sentinel Hub, EODC and VITO with the aim to improve the user accessibility. This work will be carried out in collaboration with multiple international scientific institutions and you will work closely together with the team of Prof. Edzer Pebesma from University of Münster (Institute for Geoinformatics), and researchers from EURAC Research, Sinergise, MultiOne, GILAB and OpenGeoHub. You will also have an opportunity to build upon the OpenEO API by helping extend the API with machine learning capabilities and handling of in-situ data….”

Generative AI as a Tool for Environmental Health Research Translation | medRxiv

Abstract:  Generative artificial intelligence, popularized by services like ChatGPT, has been the source of much recent popular attention for publishing health research. Another valuable application is in translating published research studies to readers in non-academic settings. These might include environmental justice communities, mainstream media outlets, and community science groups. Five recently published (2021-2022) open-access, peer-reviewed papers, authored by University of Louisville environmental health investigators and collaborators, were submitted to ChatGPT. The average rating of all summaries of all types across the five different studies ranged between 3 and 5, indicating good overall content quality. ChatGPT’s general summary request was consistently rated lower than all other summary types. Whereas higher ratings of 4 and 5 were assigned to the more synthetic, insight-oriented activities, such as the production of a plain language summaries suitable for an 8th grade reading level and identifying the most important finding and real-world research applications. This is a case where artificial intelligence might help level the playing field, for example by creating accessible insights and enabling the large-scale production of high-quality plain language summaries which would truly bring open access to this scientific information. This possibility, combined with the increasing public policy trends encouraging and demanding free access for research supported with public funds, may alter the role journal publications play in communicating science in society. For the field of environmental health science, no-cost AI technology such as ChatGPT holds the promise to improve research translation, but it must continue to be improved (or improve itself) from its current capability.


CRKN and UTP Make Climate Change Journal Accessible to Readers Around the Globe | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and University of Toronto Press (UTP) are very pleased to announce an innovative partnership for access to the Journal of City Climate Policy and Economy through the Subscribe to Open model. The Journal of City Climate Policy and Economy publishes timely, evidence-based research that contributes to the urban climate agenda and supports governmental policy towards an equitable and resilient world. Through this partnership, CRKN members will gain access to critical climate research and support the open access dissemination of this research without any cost to authors.

Subscribe to Open is an equitable access model that offers a wide range of benefits to researchers, libraries, and the community at large. Institutional subscribers access the content through subscription, as with a regular subscription model. What is unique to the model is that once an annual subscription threshold is met, the volume year becomes open access and available to researchers, policymakers, and urban practitioners globally. University of Toronto Press launched the Journal of City Climate Policy and Economy in October 2022 based upon this model….”

Data Sharing Across Sectors Creates Better Early Warning Systems – data.org

“The existing public sector’s early warning systems for infectious disease and climate events are commonly disconnected; there are limited mechanisms in place that relate the two. In other words, there is a lack of data that helps understand and predict the impacts of extreme weather events and environmental changes on disease risk.

Attempting to find and connect climate and health data proves next to impossible with the current infrastructure in developing countries. For instance, when faced with an outbreak of dengue fever in Peru, the health minister has data on only health and demographics. If you wanted to combine that with climate data you would need to ask the minister of the environment. Want to relate economic data? Ask the minister of the economy and finance….


The Harmonize Project seeks to build a digital infrastructure of harmonized databases to feed early warning systems for epidemics exacerbated by climate change in the LAC region.


In collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC)—and a network in Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic—and supported by Wellcome, the project will bring together ministries, universities, private companies, social impact organizations, and more to create a complex data infrastructure and collect real longitudinal data on the ground. These new data sets will provide valuable information on seasonal variation in land use and human behavior has given climate hazards, which are generally assumed to be unchanging in health impact models.

The outcome of such an infrastructure? Actionable knowledge to inform local risk mapping and create strong early warning systems to drive resilience in low-resource communities….”

Data Inclusion Specialist, Open Environmental Data Project

“At Open Environmental Data Project, the ACLS Leading Edge Fellow would take on the role of Data Inclusion Specialist to help improve and sustain OEDP’s data collection and stewardship processes. OEDP centers the creation of inclusive socio-technical systems that value and highlight multiple forms of data. We do this to address how current systems perpetuate injustice, ensuring that information gathered in communities is (i) usable throughout our governance structures, (ii) that communities and researchers can use other forms of scientific data, and (iii) that communities are equitably represented in scientific data and regulatory information flows. While these systems by and large include quantitative  information, our work is deeply qualitative in nature, integrating local experience, history, and geography. Supervised by the Director of Policy Initiatives, the Fellow will work across our Research and Policy programs to apply nuances in the collection, discovery, access, use, interpretation, and inclusion of diverse environmental data in our governance systems. …”

An open database on global coal and metal mine production | Scientific Data

Abstract:  While the extraction of natural resources has been well documented and analysed at the national level, production trends at the level of individual mines are more difficult to uncover, mainly due to poor availability of mining data with sub-national detail. In this paper, we contribute to filling this gap by presenting an open database on global coal and metal mine production on the level of individual mines. It is based on manually gathered information from more than 1900 freely available reports of mining companies, where every data point is linked to its source document, ensuring full transparency. The database covers 1171 individual mines and reports mine-level production for 80 different materials in the period 2000–2021. Furthermore, also data on mining coordinates, ownership, mineral reserves, mining waste, transportation of mining products, as well as mineral processing capacities (smelters and mineral refineries) and production is included.


Open Net Zero—can we build a web of net-zero data for everyone? | Icebreaker One, 2022-09-22 | Gavin Starks

“Today, Icebreaker One announces Open Net Zero search at https://opennetzero.org. It is a starting point for net-zero data infrastructure built to address commercial, non-commercial, government and public needs.  It’s designed to help make net-zero data discoverable, accessible and usable. There is a lot of Open Data related to net zero (e.g. company disclosures) and we aim to make this far more discoverable than it is today.  However, much of the data needed to drive net-zero decisions is not openly licensed or free for anyone to use. We aim to make this data more discoverable. To address restricted usage, we are building a Trust Framework for data sharing. This enables Shared Data to be discovered and licensed at scale.  We are not building a ‘database’ of all the data. We are working with partners [see below] to enable all the data to be more discoverable using open standards. Ideally, anyone should be able to make their own search engine or build their own data lake based on these open standards.  …”

RePP Africa – a georeferenced and curated database on existing and proposed wind, solar, and hydropower plants | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Promoting a transition to low-carbon energy systems to mitigate climate change requires an optimization of renewable energy (RE) planning. However, curated data for the most promising RE technologies, hydro-, wind and solar power, are missing, which limits data-based decision-making support. Here, a spatially explicit database for existing and proposed renewable power plants is provided: The Renewable Power Plant database for Africa (RePP Africa) encompasses 1074 hydro-, 1128 solar, and 276 wind power plant records. For each power plant, geographic coordinates, country, construction status, and capacity (in megawatt) are reported. The number of RePP Africa records exceeds the respective values in other existing open-access databases and matches available cumulative capacity data reported by international energy organizations best with deviations <13% for hydro-, <23% for wind, and <32% for solar power plants. This contemporary database is the most harmonized open-accessible reference source on RE power plants across Africa for stakeholders from science, (non-)governmental organizations, consulting, and industry; providing a fundamental data basis for the development of an integrated sustainable RE mix.


Job Opportunity: Open Climate Data Manager – Creative Commons

“Creative Commons (CC) is a global nonprofit organization working to solve the world’s most pressing problems by opening up knowledge and culture about them. Climate change, and the resulting harm to our global biodiversity, has been one of the world’s most pressing problems for decades. Climate data needs to be open, accessible and easy to share to ensure scientists, researchers, policymakers, educators, civil society organizations, advocates, citizens, journalists, and others can find it, read it, and build on it. 

CC is looking for an enthusiastic, well-organized and hardworking Open Climate Data Manager to facilitate the creation of a community-supported, long-term solution for the better sharing of large, distributed open climate datasets. These datasets, often in various technical formats with confusing legal terms of use, are largely inaccessible to climate researchers and policymakers. This project will focus on changing this, opening up large climate change datasets and proposing a set of best practices for how we share them….”

Lead Full-Stack Developer- Climate Solutions (Remote) – OpenEarth Fondation | Women Who Code

“OpenEarth Foundation is a California-based research and deployment non-profit. We create Open Source technology to increase planetary resilience and avoid a catastrophic climate crisis. We are building open infrastructure for the Paris Agreement, energy finance, biodiversity tracking, and other critical problems. We are a diverse international team.”

The gaping problem at the heart of scientific research – The Week

“The benefits of open access have been proved beyond doubt….

National science agencies from nations including the UK, Australia, Italy, the United States and Brazil called for publishers to make coronavirus research immediately and freely accessible, which in the most part they did.

But the very need for these groups to call for research to be made available in the middle of a global emergency demonstrates the failure of the current publishing system. Making research immediately free to read, which, when combined with the use of an open publishing licence, is known as open access’ is a hot topic in science.

Global health bodies know how important open research is, especially in times of emergency, which is why they have repeatedly called for research to be made open….

The consequences of lack of access to research can be dire.

In 2015 a group of African researchers claimed that an earlier Ebola outbreak could have been prevented if research on it had been published openly….

As 2023 unfolds, it seems that the benefits of open access have been proved beyond doubt.

The next emergency in front of us, climate change, is much more complex, and there too are calls for open access.

Serious investment in a variety of approaches is essential to ensure a diverse, equitable, open access future.”

SDG 13-Climate Action & Open Science: Accelerating Practices

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and open science are symbiotic processes. No SDG reveals this connection more strongly than SDG 13-Climate Action. This perspective uses the SDGs as a lens to explore open science practices and prospects. It illustrates, through the concept of Net-Zero, how open science has been an accelerator of SDG 13-Climate Action. It also shows how open science can be further advanced in the context of SDG 13, discussing related SDGs such as Goal 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 16-Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; and Goal 17-Partnerships for the Goals. In these ways, this perspective describes opportunities for open science and SDG-Climate Action to support and accelerate one another.”

Open science priorities for rigorous nature-based climate solutions | PLOS Biology

“Nature-based climate solutions (NbCS) hold promise, but must be based on the best available science to be successful. We outline key ingredients of open data and science crucial for robust and scalable nature-based climate solutions efforts, as an urgent call to action for academic researchers, nongovernmental organizations, government agencies, and private companies….”

The need for open technology standards for environmental monitoring | by Journal of Open HW | Nov, 2022 | Medium

“The barriers to the uptake of open hardware in environmental monitoring may seem insurmountable: not only is procurement difficult, but expertise is often hard to find and capacity is hard to build in the context of widespread commercialization of the sciences. We have already made some progress, yet not enough to gain the visibility that other open initiatives have in the broader context of Open Science. With the allocation of resources and capacity, there are straightforward ways to address the standardization issues of open instrumentation for environmental monitoring. In the US, with attention to addressing climate change and environmental inequities through initiatives such as Justice40 and legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act, carving out a space for the inclusion of open hardware would be in the interest of an environmental monitoring space that is focused on the advancement of collective agendas towards community and environmental health. To accomplish this, we suggest the following strategies:

Co-design a common space for the generative “un-siloing” for researchers, open hardware developers, and environmental regulatory authorities. The first aim of this common space should be to create a shared agenda with actionable objectives leading toward concrete goals in the near, medium, and long term.
Co-create a certification system for open environmental monitoring hardware that can operate within regulatory systems of environmental governance. Such a system should identify where and how open hardware tools and the resulting data can be used.
Solve the documentation dilemma with standardization efforts for open instrumentation in which updates and new iterations can be easily followed and understood. A collective effort towards providing a repo of open tools, their use and role in environmental monitoring, and where and how data from these tools can constructively be used in environmental governance and management is a must.
Ensure a percentage of research funds are allocated to the maintenance of open scientific technology projects. To help senior scientists support open technologies, point them to the discussion on the return on investment in open hardware.
Common resources and community-building efforts should focus on infrastructure across the open ecosystem, not just a singular tool. While open hardware involves the design and implementation of the material part of environmental monitoring, it is part of a much broader ecosystem of open technologies that involve software, data, and analytic tools. Funding agendas many times segregate infrastructural components, and domain experts focus on their piece of the infrastructure.
Commercialization of the sciences tends to undermine our ability to achieve cohesive, inclusive, and usable environmental governance structures. Looking to open source communities for better practices for research collaboration may allow for common, centralized efforts and agendas to exist while maintaining the autonomy of decentralized projects and organizations….”