Big Data for International Science, Beijing, June 2014


In Beijing, China, on 8-9 June 2014, CODATA sponsored a significant, high-level Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes: Challenges and Opportunities, organized by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, CAS.



The workshop was designed to provide a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of ‘Big Data’ for international collaborative science programmes, including ICSU-sponsored ones such as Future Earth and Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), as well as international initiatives such as the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), and initiatives sponsored by the Belmont Forum. This meeting also aimed to promote international and cross-disciplinary collaboration, in the age of Big Data. The results of the workshop had also helped set an agenda for CODATA activities on Big Data for international science.

Participation from eminent scientists and committed attendees

Running over two days, the workshop featured four keynotes and twenty-one presentations from distinguished researchers. The opening ceremony was attended by over 100 participants and included agenda setting statements from representatives of sponsoring organisations. The workshop closed with a panel session, chaired by CODATA President Huadong Guo and former CODATA Secretary General, Bob Chen. The discussions were lively and engaged.

Programme (Summary)

  • Day One: Using Big Data? to Advance International Scientific Programme

Opening Ceremony
Keynotes Session: "Setting the Scene,Big Data and International Science"
Session A:? "Big Data Challenges for International Collaborations "

  • Day Two: Building International Cooperation and Collaboration on Big Data for International Science

Session B:? "Big Data Today: Lessons and Challenges from Science Initiative and the Commercial World"
Session C:? "Invited Talks and Discussion Big Data Opportunities: How to Make Progress"
Sessions D & E: "Opportunities for Collaboration on Big Data for International Science"
Closing Session with Panel Discussion: "An Agenda for Big Data and International Science"

Full programme details (PDF) are available here.


As well as learned presentations about the key research issues, the output of the workshop was a Statement of Recommendations and Actions:

As a first, practical step towards focusing attention on the potential of Big Data for international scientific programmes, the workshop participants and sponsoring organisations, agreed a Statement of Recommendations and Actions :

  • ??? Respond to the importance of Big Data for international scientific programmes
  • ??? Exploit the benefits of Big Data for society
  • ??? Improve understanding of Big Data through international collaboration
  • ??? Promote universal access to Big Data through global research infrastructures
  • ??? Explore and address the challenges of Big Data stewardship
  • ??? Encourage capacity building and skills development in Big Data science
  • ??? Foster development of policies to maximise exploitation of Big Data

The?recommendations were followed by more specific actions for a CODATA-convened Working Group on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes :

  • Produce case studies in Big Data for international scientific programmes
  • Promote sharing of Big Data solutions across scientific disciplines
  • Research policy, ethical and legal issues for Big Data
  • Research stewardship and sustainability challenges for Big Data

Outputs expanded information here.

Read more

Workshop announcement?(blog post)?

Article on RADI website*
*The Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth??