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Open Science and the Decolonization of Knowledge International Webinar Series and Indigenous Circle

Open Science Webinar series is an endeavour to continue the dialogue on openness of science, proposed by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO pursuant to the consultation paper prepared by Leslie Chan, Budd Hall, Florence Piron, Rajesh Tandon and Lorna Williams in July 2020 for the Commission. Open Science Webinar Series aim at understanding different ways of viewing science as a dialogue between knowledges rather than a knowledge that exists only insofar as it silences or eliminates other knowledges. The webinar series will deliberate on finding answers to questions such as why and how should science be “open”; and whether this openness also enables citizens globally to contribute to science with their capacities, such as through citizen science or participatory action research projects.

Interestingly, the three dimensions of science openness—to publications and data, to society, and to excluded knowledges—are rarely considered together. In fact, they tend to be ignored by the proponents of one or the other. For instance, many action-research scholars do not really check if their work is accessible to society, since many choose to publish in “prestigious” journals or costly books published by for-profit publishers that only people linked to a university can access. Conversely, open access practitioners, most of whom are from the Global North, tend to ignore the plurality of knowledge or even the fact that some interesting and important knowledge could exist outside of mainstream science. It is desirable to include all three dimensions in UNESCO’s future Recommendation on Open Science

The webinar series call for science that is based on values of co-operation, sharing, friendship, compassion, understanding and refusal to separate personal life and values from research. Science can support cognitive justice and situations where everyone contributes knowledge, regardless of their country, social class, gender and language. We call for science as a pluriversal and plurilingual open space—a science that is with and for communities and where knowledge is open and empowering.

The webinar series took place as per the following schedule-

Caribbean region (English) – October 15, 4 p.m. GMT

Latin America and the Spanish speaking world (Español) – October 21, 2 p.m. GMT

Africa (English) – October 26, 3 p.m. GMT

Francophone Africa and Haiti Francophonie (Français) – October 27, 1 p.m. GMT

Arab region (Arabic) – October 28, 1 p.m. GMT

Europe and North America (Français) – October 29, 1 p.m. GMT

Pacific region (English) – November 3, 3 a.m. GMT

World Virtual Indigenous Circle (English) – November 12, 5 p.m. GMT

South and Southeast Asia (English) – November 17, 11 a.m. GMT

Europe and North America (English) – November 20, 5 p.m. GMT

Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking World – December 2, 2 p.m. GMT

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