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open science in practice

Turning open science into practice: causality as a showcase

The birth of the open science movement resulted in the demand for transparent and accessible-to-all scientific processes. Scientific data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable, according to the FAIR guiding principles. Open science promotes and supports research collaboration and co-creation, including public participation in the scientific process via crowdsourcing data, methods, computational capacity and scientific knowledge. The adoption of a more participatory approach offers new opportunities to regulatory science organisations. It helps them extend the pool of data, expertise and knowledge from which to draw, thus accelerating their preparedness to address complex questions. It can also help in enhancing the public understanding of science, and in finally reducing citizens’ scepticism. An open science approach also poses challenges, including the need to monitor the accuracy and reliability of open data as well as their possible misuse. The session will offer an opportunity for sharing experiences on obstacles, benefits and the feasibility of adopting open science approaches in the context of regulatory science. The showcase example will focus on causality, i.e. the relationship between a cause, such as the exposure to a substance/micro-organism/food ingredient, and an effect, such as an adverse/beneficial health outcome. With larger availability of open access data, including those gathered using high-throughput techniques, unprecedented options for deeper insights into causality have emerged. Using causality as an illustrative example, the session intends to advance the discussion on how the principles of open science can be routinely implemented in the scientific activities performed by the European institutions. The guiding question is: Can institutions benefit from open data and the open science movement, and if so, how? For instance, can participatory science accelerate finding solutions to quantitatively integrate heterogeneous sources to address causality?

Session Coordinator

Session coordinator
Laura Martino (EFSA)

Session Contributors

Session contributors
Federica Barrucci (EFSA)
Claudia Cascio (EFSA)
Laura Ciccolallo (EFSA)
Marios Georgiadis (EFSA)
Giovanni Iacono (EFSA)
Yannick Spill (EFSA)


Abstract Session Chairpersons
  • Jean-François Dechamp, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation (European Commission)
Abstract Session Speakers
  • Shani Evenstein Sigalov, University of Tel Aviv - Expert interview
  • Léa Maitre, ISGlobal Barcelona Institute for Global Health - Open science and causality in the Exposome era
  • Marc Chadeau-Hyam, Imperial College - Exposome Analytics: Composite Scores, Embodiment, and Health Risk: Evidence for the UK Biobank Study 
  • Max Blanck, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - Advancing engagement in an evolving food safety ecosystem: opportunities and challenges
  • Stef Bronzwaer, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - Making a difference: bridging EU research and policy
  • Michelle Patel, Food Standards Agency - Putting science into context: the future of social science in risk analysis
Abstract Session Moderators
  • Tony Smith, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Abstract Session Panellists
  • Leonie Dendler, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)  
  • Anastasija Nikiforova, European Open Cloud Task Force - ‘FAIR metrics and data quality’  
  • Sven Schade, Joint Research Centre (JRC)
  • Foteini Zampati, Data rights specialist
Abstract Session Rapporteurs
  • Federica Barrucci, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Claudia Cascio, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Laura Martino, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)