[CODATA-international] UNESCO Global Consultations on Open Science - Diagram Paul Berkman adapted

Berkman, Paul A Paul.Berkman at tufts.edu
Sat May 2 11:36:29 EDT 2020

Hi Hans,

The challenge is to operate short-term to long-term, recognizing that change is exponential in our world from the timescales of: weeks-years with our global pandemic; months-decades with high-technologies; and years to centuries with atmospheric carbon dioxide and our global human population.

We are still in our infancy to operate as a globally-interconnected civilization with informed decisionmaking across a 'continuum of urgencies', which is well-illustrated by your observations.

I hope you are enjoying a pleasant weekend.  Stay healthy!!!

With best regards,


From: CODATA-international [mailto:codata-international-bounces at lists.codata.org] On Behalf Of Hans Pfeiffenberger
Sent: Saturday, May 2, 2020 8:27 AM
To: codata-international at lists.codata.org
Subject: Re: [CODATA-international] UNESCO Global Consultations on Open Science - Diagram Paul Berkman adapted

Dear Paul,
Am 01.05.20 um 17:30 schrieb Berkman, Paul A:
we are working with effectively infinite and instantaneous information access in our digital era.

I think you might reconsider this statement a bit, in light of the current pandemic:

There is "The Reality" of infections happening, and in the "Information Space" the point in time when these infections can be seen in PDF-statistics or on (public or confidential) dashboards. Not only is there a delay due to the asymptomatic-while-infectious period (which could only be overcome by daily testing of all or of a representative sample), but then a delay due to the processing of tests plus delays in reporting which typically add up to some days (almost a week?). The only thing which is instantaneous about that is the access to these results after reporting and collating is finished (e.g., the Johns Hopkins site; these people are doing an amazing job!)

=> This leads to consequences of decisions to be noticed only after two to three weeks or so, rather than one week (including incubation time).

Also, as to "infinite", I am afraid we know next to nothing about many countries - whether these countries don't have the economic capacity or the logistics to acquire the data or prefer not to disclose them.

=> This will lead to widespread uncertainty about how and when to resume global (or even trans-national) trade and travel.

Of course, both of these observations lead to my previous points about openness and real-time operations (and trust), as desirables for the future.




Hans Pfeiffenberger

Consultant, scientific data infrastructures & policies

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