Exploring the Consequences of Open Science

In this talk Rose Trappes, University of Exeter asks: How is open science changing science, and is it changing it for the better?

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Open science is changing the face of scientific research. Various aspects of the research process are now being opened up to evaluation, reuse or intervention by other scientists and members of the public. Hypotheses and research design, instruments and software, data and code, drafts and peer review, and publications and educational materials: all are being made increasingly open. Open science is tied up with ideals of good scientific practice and is being instituted as a norm and requirement for scientists around the globe. But how is open science changing science, and is it changing it for the better? In this talk I discuss epistemological and political consequences of open science. First, I present work from the PHIL_OS project at Exeter University on how open science policies may exacerbate global inequalities between scientists and scientific research institutes and lead to further centralisation of research in the global north and especially in resource-rich institutions. Second, I focus on three elements of open science that I’m considering in my own research: (1) the consequences of open data practices for research directions and data evaluation in ecological sciences; (2) the impact of opening up participation with citizen science on epistemic diversity and epistemic justice; and (3) the debates around open peer review, transparency, and expert reasons. I close with an overview of where research on open science may take philosophers of science.