The idea behind Open Science is to allow scientific information, data and outputs to be more widely accessible (Open Access) and more reliably harnessed (Open Data) with the active engagement of all the stakeholders (Open to Society).
By encouraging science to be more connected to societal needs and by promoting equal opportunities for all (scientists, policy-makers and citizens), Open Science can be a true game changer in bridging the science, technology and innovation gaps between and within countries and fulfilling the human right to science.
In the context of pressing planetary and socio-economic challenges, sustainable and innovative solutions require an efficient, transparent and vibrant scientific effort - not only stemming from the scientific community, but from the whole society. The recent response of the scientific community to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated very well, how open science can accelerate the achievement of scientific solutions for a global challenge.
The Open Science movement has emerged from the scientific community and has rapidly spread across nations, calling for the opening of the gates of knowledge. Investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens are joining this call. However, in the fragmented scientific and policy environment, a global understanding of the meaning, opportunities and challenges of Open Science is still missing.
UNESCO, as the United Nations Agency with a mandate for Science, is the legitimate global organization enabled to build a coherent vision of Open Science and a shared set of overarching principles and shared values. That is why, at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, 193 Members States tasked the Organization with the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
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