The first National Open Science Festival online

Published on
March 2, 2021

The first National Open Science Festival took place on 11 February 2021 in an online setting, instead of at Wageningen campus. We look back on an inspiring day in which over 500 scientists from different universities shared their knowledge and experience.

Lively day with a big turnout

The Festival provided researchers the opportunity to learn about the benefits of different Open Science practices. Over 500 people registered, most of them from Dutch universities, UMCs and KNAW institutes, but also from HBOs. The Festival was originally planned to be hosted by Wageningen University and Research (WUR). Prof. Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus of WUR and Chair of the WUR Open Science & Education Steering Committee, opened the festival from a rainy Wageningen campus with an enthusiastic word of welcome and emphasised the importance of Open Science practices in research and education.

In a video message, Dutch outgoing minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven also addressed the participants. The Dutch Government will continue to strive to make open science the norm for all publicly funded research. Scientists are key to this transition, she said. It is about taking action, at a local, national and international level.

The live stream of the plenary session attracted 1400 viewers. You can re-watch the session (including the welcome word from Arthur Mol at 20:34 and the speech by I. van Engelshoven at 2:12:00) here:

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Community-led sessions

After the plenary session the day was filled with 14 engaging and interactive sessions. Different topics were presented and discussed on Open Access, FAIR data, Open Education, Open Source and Citizen Science.

From WUR, information specialist Nicolien Schmaal presented a session on Open Science in education, together with colleagues from TU Delft. As part of this session, two associate professors, Victor Knoop (TU Delft) and Monica Mars (WUR), explained in a pre-recorded interview how they use their research output in their education. You can see the short video here.

Erik van den Bergh from the Wageningen Data Competence Centre presented a session on FAIR and Open data. A collection of presentations, videos and documents related to the Dutch National Open Science Festival is available here.

Next time on Wageningen campus?

The festival was organised in the context of the Dutch National Programme Open Science. Programme leader Open Science & Education at WUR Anna Besse-Lototskaya was part of the Festival organising committee. She hopes that next time the Open Science Festival can be organised live on Wageningen campus, as was the original intention:

At WUR, we consider Open Science an important European and national development, and increasingly facilitate and support our researchers and teachers with guidelines, tools and resources. It was inspiring to see so many passionate young academics actively using Open Science principles already, by making their research more open, re-usable and transparent. This leads to collaboration, new ideas and better science.

WUR Open Science and Education Community

Inspired by the vibe of the Festival, WUR will launch its own WUR Open Science Community, a ‘bottom-up’ community of researchers and students, to exchange experiences on Open Science and Education. We sincerely welcome you to share your ideas and comments with us! For more information please visit the OSE webpage.