SciDataCon 2016, an international conference focusing on "Big Data," has issued a call for session proposals for its fall meeting in Denver, Colorado. The conference will examine the use of data in all arenas of scientific research, organisers say, tackling the opportunities and challenges that stem from new techniques for gathering and exploring information. Sessions will address a range of issues related to this "data revolution," including how scientists can collaborate across borders on data-driven projects and what some of the emerging ethical questions are surrounding the use of data.
Proposals for sessions are due by March 7, and the conference will run from September 11 to 13. In their announcement, the organisers write:
SciDataCon 2016 is motivated by the conviction that the most significant contemporary research challenges — and in particular those reaching across traditional disciplines — cannot be properly addressed without paying attention to issues relating to data.
The conference, which has the goal of "advancing the frontiers of data in research" is one part of 2016's International Data Week. The event is tied to what organisers call an "explosion" in the use of big and complex datasets in many areas of research. This proliferation of data, in turn, has created new challenges for the scientific community, including the need to build datasets that researchers living anywhere can access — and that will last for generations. SciDataCon 2016 is being convened by the International Council for Science's Committee on Data for Science and Society (CODATA) and World Data System and the Research Data Alliance.
SciDataCon 2016 also follows the recent release of an international accord titled "Open Data in a Big Data World." This accord emerged from the 2015 meeting of Science International, a partnership between the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). Among other recommendations, the partnership calls for publicly-funded scientists to make their data open and accessible for all researchers.