Future trend connectivity
Trends in science communication as exemplified by Open Science
The future arises from trends. Trends are evolutionary developments with a certain dynamic. At first they are visible only on the horizon far away, then the outlines become clearer. And finally the trend becomes mundane – and this happens in science, too.
What are the trends shaping the future of science communication? Today the usefulness of research is increasingly under scrutiny. Science communication must therefore address how science shapes our society to make it relevant, close to real life, and accepted.
What is the connection between the future trend connectivity and Open Science?
Let us take a look at how the future trend connectivity relates to Open Science. Linking is a basic principle of the digital world. People link up on social media, both privately and professionally. Data are linked with Big Data to bring benefits to users. One example is the routing system which processes weather and traffic data to propose ideal routes. Another example is the NFDI – the linked research data infrastructure.
Big Data is the big topic of the future
The gathering, processing and analysing of data is the basis for new business models. For years, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon have been using Big Data analyses successfully to influence the purchase behaviour of customers with constantly new offers based on customers’ preferences. Machines are also linked up with each other on the “Internet of Things”.
Connectivity becomes ever more simple
Smartphones store giant amounts of data and execute complex applications. In a “smart home” all devices are linked and make it highly comfortable. You turn on the heating before you arrive at home or allow an intelligent device to control it automatically and energy-efficiently.
However, Big Data also poses a big challenge. Data must be linked systematically and reproducibly to deliver relevant and useful results. If this succeeds, it offers giant opportunities for innovation to business and science. Results can be multiplied if know-how and knowledge are shared with other scientists or market participants through Open Science.
Open Science can use connectivity for innovation and communities
Connectivity is a true megatrend that can be used for Open Science, too. What we already see in the context of Open Innovation – where organisations and companies open their innovation processes to use external potentials strategically – can also be recognised in science. Signs of connectivity can be recognised in the context of Open Science, where different stakeholders link up in groups, networks and communities and share their research data and findings confidently, openly and by conviction.