[CODATA-international] Tony Hey: Candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee and CODATA President

Asha CODATA asha at codata.org
Thu Oct 18 08:38:54 EDT 2018

*My Vision for CODATA*

I very much support the three major strategic programs put forward in
CODATA’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018, namely:

   - Data Principles and Practice
   - Frontiers of Data Science
   - Capacity Building

However, given the promising developments of the last five years it is now
time to develop a third strategic plan covering the next five years of the
CODATA organization. Development of this new strategic plan must be a major
priority for CODATA and it will be important to reach out to all the
relevant national and international stakeholder organizations for their
input. However, in addition to CODATA’s traditional stakeholders, I would
also like to learn from the experience of other major efforts in this
space. For example, from the US, this could include input from the NIH’s
National Library of Medicine, the DOE’s OSTI organization and the NSF’s
DataONE project. From Europe, there will be much activity in creating an
implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). I would also look
for input from other major data science initiatives in Asia and Australia.

In addition to developing detailed plans and deliverables for the three
broad CODATA priority areas for the next five years, I would like to give
my support to two other areas. During my career in data-intensive science -
in the UK with e-Science and in my work with Microsoft Research in the US –
I have worked closely with universities and funding agencies in Europe,
North and South America, Asia and Australia. I now think it is important to
dedicate more attention to Africa where I think CODATA can play a
significant role. I am therefore personally very supportive of the existing
CODATA initiative to develop an African Open Science Platform and would
look for ways to extend this initiative and increase its impact. One way in
which to do this is to harness CODATA’s global reach and influence which
can successfully bring together countries at many different levels of
economic development. The international SKA project will also generate many
interesting computing, data science and networking challenges in Africa.

The second focus I would like to develop is related to my present role as
leader of the Scientific Machine Learning research group at RAL. There is
now much activity world-wide in the application of the latest advances in
AI and Machine Learning technologies to scientific data. This is one of the
few areas where the academic research community has large and complex data
sets that can compete with the ‘Big Data’ available to industry. Extracting
new scientific insights from these datasets will require the use of
advanced statistical techniques, including Bayesian methods and ‘deep
learning’ technologies. In addition, an extensive education program to
train researchers in the application of these data analytic technologies
will be necessary and can build upon practical experience in applying such
methods to ‘Big Scientific Data.’ In this way CODATA can help train a new
generation of data analysts who are not only able to generate new insights
from scientific data but also to spur innovation with industry and aid
economic development.

While at Microsoft Research, I was a founding Board member of the RDA
organization. As an RDA  Board member, I liaised extensively with both the
NSF in the USA, and with the Commission in Europe, and assisted in
facilitating the constructive cooperation of RDA with CODATA. I will
therefore bring extensive management experience to the leadership of CODATA
– from my experience in the university sector as research group leader,
department chair and dean of engineering, in UK research funding councils
as a program director and chief data scientist, and in industry as manager
of a globally distributed outreach team. I am disappointed to see the
absence of many European countries from the CODATA membership and, through
my experience in European research projects, I would seek to encourage
these missing nations to become members of the organization. In addition,
in my role at Microsoft Research, I spent considerable time visiting
universities and funding agencies in Central and South America, and in
Asia. I believe there is considerable potential to interest non-member
countries in these regions in the relevance of the data science agenda of
CODATA. Finally, although I will certainly bring my vision, enthusiasm and
energy to the role of CODATA President, I believe that we must harvest the
energy and enthusiasm of the entire CODATA community to take the
organization forward to a new level of influence and effectiveness.

*Read the full statement here
*Programme for SciDataCon, part of International Data Week, now published!*

*Registration is now open for International Data Week *(comprising
SciDataCon and the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting), 5-8 November 2018, Gaborone,
Botswana:* register here! <http://internationaldataweek.org/registration>*

CODATA General Assembly, 9-10 November 2018, University of Botswana
| *Provisional
List of Candidates for CODATA Elections
 | Candidates’ Election statements appearing on the CODATA blog.

Asha Law | Program Assistant, CODATA | http://www.codata.org

E-Mail: asha at codata.org
Tel (Office): +33 1 45 25 04 96

CODATA (Committee on Data of the International Council for Science), 5 rue
Auguste Vacquerie, 75016 Paris, FRANCE
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