Workshop on Big Data Opens in Beijing

The Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes: Challenges and Opportunities was kicked off on the morning of 8 June in Beijing. It is sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), and co-sponsored by ICSU World Data System (WDS), Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), Research Data Alliance (RDA), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI). The workshop is designed to provide a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of "Big Data" for international collaborative science programmes.

Dr. Sara Graves, Secretary General of CODATA, chaired the opening ceremony, which was attended by 100 participants, including Prof. GUO Huadong, President of CODATA and Director-General of RADI, Prof. GAO Wen, Vice President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Dr. Krishan Lal, Immediate Past President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Dr. Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director of GEO, Prof. Mark Stafford Smith, Chair of the Future Earth Scientific Committee, Prof. Milan Konecny, Vice President of ISDE, Prof. David Johnston, Chair of IRDR Scientific Committee, Mr. Mustapha Mokrane, Executive Director of WDS International Programme Office, and Prof. XU Guanhua, Former Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST).

In the Keynotes Session for Setting the Scene, Big Data and International Science, Prof. GUO Huadong, Prof. Peter Fox, Chair of the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Barbara Ryan, and Prof. Mark Stafford Smith delivered presentations titled “Big Data, Big Science, Towards Big Discovery”, “Environmental Informatics: Leveraging BIG Data to Solve BIG Problems”, “The Group on Earth Observations through 2025”, “Future Earth - An Agenda Needing Use-Oriented Data” respectively.

This workshop featured four keynote speakers on topics of vital interest, five high level sessions of twenty one presentations on a wide spectrum of topics, and the productive discussion. The topics covered a variety of disciplines including spatial information, computing science, genomics, and various aspects of data including data policy, stewardship, simulation and sharing.

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