“Our organization, the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG), is a collaborative of 25 philanthropies representing annual giving of $12 billion that is committed to the open sharing of research outputs. Our members aim to increase the impact of the work we support by creating an open ecosystem for scientific research—where data, analytics, methods, materials, and publications are openly available to all to access, test, and build upon. This approach closes information-sharing gaps, encourages innovation, and increases trust in the scientific process.
In the wake of a tumultuous 2020—the inequity laid bare by the George Floyd killing and the rampant disinformation surrounding COVID-19—ORFG members realized that we needed to think even more expansively about our entire grantmaking processes and whether they reflect our values. To truly support open research, inclusivity, and equity, we understood we needed to rethink how we make decisions about where our money goes, from the way we build and socialize funding programs, to how we develop diverse applicant pools, all the way through how we support grantees and alumni.
To accomplish this, we engaged with the Civic Science Fellows program to support a fellow, Eunice Mercado-Lara, who could connect with broad and diverse communities to help shape our grantmaking processes. Open science seeks to level the playing field by providing wide access to the research process and products, and it is one component of the larger civic science movement, where science and evidence inform equitable and inclusive solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Major scientific advances such as gene editing, artificial intelligence, and vaccine technology can be transformational, but only when we successfully grapple with the array of complex political, social, and ethical questions that inevitably accompany these developments….”