The White House Blog

Seeking Outstanding “Open Science” Champions of Change

On June 20, the White House will host a Champions of Change event to highlight outstanding individuals, organizations, or research projects promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world. The White House Champions of Change program highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and accomplishments positively impact our communities.

Access to scientific research can help fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific breakthroughs. Freely available data generates new ideas, builds new businesses, and generates economic growth that impacts the lives of Americans every day.

That’s why, in February 2013, OSTP Director John P. Holdren issued a memo to the heads of Federal agencies that aims to increase public access to the results of federally-funded research—including scientific data and publications.

Open sharing of research results is a proven strategy for driving positive change. For example, the rapid and open sharing of genomic data from the Human Genome Project revolutionized biomedical research, spurred major growth in the biotechnology industry, and provided $140 in economic returns for every dollar of public investment. And, the Federal Government’s liberation of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite data led to an explosion of geospatial information systems and the creation of many companies, smartphone apps, and car navigation systems.

We are asking for your help to identify “Open Science” Champions of Change—outstanding individuals, organizations, or research projects promoting and using open scientific data for the benefit of society. For example, a Champion’s work may involve:

  • Providing free access to data or publications generated from scientific research; or
  • Leading research that uses publically available scientific data.

Anyone can nominate an “Open Science” candidate for consideration by May 23, 2013 (under “Theme of Service,” choose “Open Science”). In the “Reason for Nominating” section of the nomination form, please also include information about any upcoming open-science-related announcements or new steps that the individual or organization you are nominating has planned, which could potentially be launched at the Champions of Change event.

Anjelika Deogirikar is a Student Volunteer at OSTP

Michael Stebbins is Assistant Director for Biotechnology at OSTP