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WSIS Action Line C7 E-science: Assessment of progress made over the last 20 years

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Geneva, Switzerland

With the deadline to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fast approaching, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is poised to address the critical role of the intersection of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and sciences in accelerating progress towards sustainable development goals. The focus of this panel will be to discuss and debate the most important issues in the intersection of new technologies and science and that will catalyze action around policy reform, establishing rights-based frameworks, enhancing digital accessibility, fostering openness in innovation, and ensuring inclusive multistakeholder collaboration. The proposal has been developed taking into account the UN’s Key Proposals Across the 12 Commitments.

The dynamic interface between eScience and new technologies serves as a critical axis for the future of scientific inquiry and collaboration. In this context, recognizing the revolutionary influences of developments like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and synthetic data generation on research methodology, data dissemination, and collaborative scientific effort become critical. The incorporation of new technologies such as generative AI into the research ecosystem represent a significant leap, allowing for the automation of difficult analyses, the generation of novel ideas, and the acceleration of discoveries across multiple scientific fields. Similarly, the integration of big data analytics into eScience has unprecedented opportunities for predictive modeling, trend analysis, and informed decision-making. Additionally, the new field of synthetic data generation, a technology promising to revolutionize research by providing realistic, yet privacy-compliant datasets. While these technologies can address real time effectiveness of scientific solutions, they can also generate ethical, privacy and security risks to humanity.

Within these contexts, opening science and technological democratization can not only be a challenge but also unfold new dimensions for open access to research, data, software and scientific infrastructure. Thus new policies, strategies and workflows have become necessary for their governance, ethical upscaling, reproducibility and integrity.


The panel will discuss and aim to establish a consensus on the need for WSIS to reorientate its actions towards the protection of digital rights, the guarantee for universal access to information and technology, the promotion of open solutions, and the engagement with multiple stakeholders.

Key Focus of the panel:

  • Which new policy frameworks are required to optimize the role of emerging technologies, ensuring their accessibility, safeguarding digital rights, and promoting openness in the scientific domain?
    • Key global and national policy shifts that will help prioritize digital rights, privacy, and ethical standards in the use of new technologies for scientific advancements.
  • How can eScience contribute to improving the accessibility of new technologies for the broader scientific community?
    • Strategies to eliminate barriers to access to new technologies for scientific research, focusing on underserved communities and marginalized groups.
  • What forms of Openness and Innovation must be fostered to enhance the accessibility of new technologies to sciences?
    • Open standards, open-source technologies, and open data essential for fostering innovation and collaboration to leverage the power of new technologies for solving complex global challenges and driving sustainable development.
  • What new collaborations are essential to encourage multistakeholder collaboration in harnessing the potential of new ICT solutions for scientific innovation?
    • Frameworks for effective collaboration among governments, private sector, academia, civil society, and international organizations to leverage ICTs and science for the SDGs.
  • What new rights-Based approaches are essential in the wider domain of science and technology and innovation?
    • Ensuring that ICTs and scientific advancements are aligned with human rights principles, addressing issues such as digital divide, data protection, and equitable access to technologies.

Expected Outcomes:

  • The establishment of a consensus on policy reform, enhanced accessibility, the promotion of openness, and the engagement in multistakeholder collaboration as foundational pillars in customizing eScience to further the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The development of a comprehensive action plan that articulates specific initiatives, offers policy recommendations, and outlines collaborative frameworks aimed at implementation by the year 2030.
  • The issuance of a formal statement to be recognized by the Chief Executives Board (CEB) that reaffirms the significance of adopting rights-based, inclusive methodologies to maximize the utility of new technologies in scientific innovation and sustainable development.