Welcoming remarks by Prof. Dr. Martina Brockmeier, president of the Leibniz Association:
“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
With these words, the American physicist Robert Feynman summed up one of the core premises of science: The process and the product of scientific knowledge must include the possibility of understanding and, if necessary, disproving it. With „open science“, this claim has once again made it to the center of scientific and also science-political discourse. The rapid development of digital infrastructures is a catalyst for the implementation of this self-conception. Without barrier-free publication of research results, without access to data and software, this critical review by the scientific community is not possible. Civil society and politics also rightly demand participation and transparency of publicly funded research. Different communication strategies may be necessary for these audiences. But in any case, only transparency and adequate communication of research and research results create the necessary trust of society. I am proud that the Open Science Conference organized by the Leibniz Association has become a permanent fixture in the calendar of all those who want to exchange ideas on Open Science in all its facets. The conference has responded to the closure brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic by opening up virtually. Colleagues from all over the world can now exchange views on Open Science. Thank you to the organizers, especially the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, ZBW, and the Leibniz Strategy Forum Open Science.
With this conference, they promote the exchange and establishment of a concern that is also central to the Leibniz Association. 97 institutes of all disciplines conduct excellent knowledge-driven and also application-driven research. In addition, the Leibniz Association’s institutions provide outstanding achievements in the area of research infrastructures and transfer.
What are the core principles of science that underlie this diversity of research achievements? In my view, Open Science provides convincing answers. For this reason, the Leibniz Association agreed last year to adopt an Open Science policy.
Thanks to its strong information infrastructures, the Leibniz Association enables not only its institutes but the science system as a whole to conduct research in a comprehensible way and to make a key contribution to quality assurance. Last but not least, participatory research and the strengthening of citizen science are also central concerns of the Leibniz Association.
This year, for the 10th time, we have an exciting three days ahead of us with diverse insights into the world of Open Science. To take up my opening quote from Robert Feynman once again: “There is much to learn, some questions may not yet be answered, but some answers will be questioned anew.” I wish all participants an exciting conference. I am sure that if the idea of Open Science continues to gain even more acceptance, the „Open“ in the name will perhaps no longer be needed: because non-open science will then no longer be conceivable.
President of the Leibniz Association