Organized by the Research Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC), this conference took place on the 12th & 13th April, 2012, in the Prat de la Riba room of the institute. About two hundred people came to present and discuss various initiatives concerning access and processing of scientific information and related technological tools.
Salvador Giner, president of the IEC, and Josep M. Martorell, Director General of Research at the Generalitat of Catalonia (Catalan local government), opened the conference that brought together officials and experts from institutions such as the Generalitat, the IEC, universities, professional associations, businesses, foundations and university networks.
The Esteve Foundation participated in the roundtable on April 12th that dealt with Open Access and Open Data. The debate was chaired by Cristina Ribas of the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication, and included the participation of Ignasi Labastida, University of Barcelona; Santi Muxach, IEC; and Fernanda Peset, Polytechnic University of Valencia.
The Esteve Foundation discussed the need to disseminate scientific information as much as possible and, therefore, highlighted the urgent need to support joint initiatives to promote open access to science. While one might argue that we are in a time of transformation in scientific communication, it also seems clear that this period is characterized by many different factors, such as a lack of tradition in dissemination of scientific information and also certain economic interests. However, it would be difficult to reverse the direction provided first by the Internet, and later by improvements in technology.
It was noted that it is difficult to justify some of the contradictions related to the lack of access to scientific information. Finally, the discussion turned to the need to go beyond open access just for science to an intelligible science accessible to citizens. Although technology has the potential to support both objectives, work must be done in the right direction.