Data Sharing in the Biosciences : a sociological perspective

26 June, 2008 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM

e-Science Institute, 15 South College Street, Edinburgh

Organiser: Robin Williams, , Jane Calvert and Jef Grainger
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Any slides or other material generated as a result of this event can be found at: www.nesc.ac.uk/action/esi/contribution.cfm?Title=899

This workshop aims to explore the changes in the generation, utilisation and governance of information in the biosciences; to consider the implications of these changes; and, to provide advice as appropriate. The workshop will bring together scientists who are having to deal with data sharing issues in their own research (in biology and other relevant disciplines), and social scientists who are studying the impacts of data sharing on scientific practices.

The last decade has seen the generation of increasing quantities of biological data,driven in part by large-scale research efforts such as the human genome project and assisted by advances in automated analysis. Researchers are increasingly likely to be utilising datasets produced elsewhere. These developments mean that life scientists must develop new rules and governance procedures regarding the release and sharing of information, and to do with the standardisation of data, models and experimental protocols. Additionally, public funders of research have introduced data sharing policies that scientists are obliged to follow. These changes have consequences for research practices and for the knowledge that is produced.

This workshop will explore these issues by addressing questions such as:

  • What have been the major developments in the role of information technology and data sharing in the biosciences over the last decade?
  • What examples are there of emerging experience in working with biological data, and what changes has this brought about?
  • What implications do these changes have for scientific practice, community behaviour and associated infrastructures? (For example, will we see the dominance of ‘dry’ over ‘wet’ biology?)
  • Can experiences in other research sectors (e.g. cosmology, particle physics and climatology) throw light on potential upcoming challenges for the biosciences? Do they have useful experiences or tools that could be translated into bioscience?

This workshop is sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in collaboration with ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (Innogen) and will be hosted in Edinburgh by the e-Science Institute.

Target Audience

Places at the workshop are strictly limited. Please send expressions of interest to Robin Williams, Jane Calvert or Jef Grainger using this email address: research-data-workshop@lists.ed.ac.uk


This event is provisionally scheduled to start at 09:30 Thursday 26 June 2008 and close at 17:00 on Thursday 26 June 2008.


Assistance with accommodation is offered once you have registered.


Registration for this event is now closed. To enquire about an application or to cancel a previous application please contact NeSC Administration.

Important Dates

02 Jun - Registration Opens
19 Jun - Registration Deadline
19 Jun - Date we will respond to your application by (Please note this is the latest date we will respond to your application. It is normal policy for us to respond within 5 working days where possible.)
26 Jun - Event Starts at 09:30hrs


Full details on how to get to the e-Science Institute are available at:


Enquiries should be made directly to our Conference Administrator.



This event is hosted by e-Science Institute in association with the following organisations:
  Innogen     BBSRC       
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