SciLifeLab Voices: Chris Erdmann

Hi Chris, could you tell us a bit about the assignment as Head of Open Science at SciLifeLab?

The role and the unit I will head will be focused on community connections, ensuring that we are tracking and involved in key open science initiatives, and will take a systems approach to making sure that we are linking up with important aspects of the research ecosystem. We will also be conducting a landscape analysis of Life Sciences research in Sweden that looks at open science indicators such as data and software sharing, benchmarking how we are doing, and prioritising the steps we can take to advance open science. Finally, there is an engagement piece where we will be posting open science stories, approaches, and tools.

How do you envision FAIR data handling in practice?

The ideal scenario is that the FAIR principles would be integrated into researcher workflows where it is a seamless process to manage and create FAIR data and this would be the same for other research outputs like software, protocols, resources, etc. However, we as a community have to work through sociotechnical challenges to make that more of a reality. We still face a number of challenges that range from systems interoperability to research culture, but this is where I’ll be spending my time, looking at how we can make improvements in various places to cut down on friction in the research ecosystem incorporating FAIR and open science approaches in the process. For instance, one upcoming project we will be collaborating with others on will be looking at automated solutions to improving FAIR data curation and metrics. That collaboration will be announced in the new year.

What are your first concrete actions at SciLifeLab?

I dove right into some things. I collaborated with a number of our colleagues to respond to the National Library’s Guidelines on Open Science. Currently we are working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to host an upcoming workshop on imaging data, May 29-31. That will soon be followed by the Research Software Funders Forum which we will be hosting in September in Uppsala and in connection with the Forum we will be supporting the Amsterdam Declaration on Funding Research Software Sustainability (ADORE). We’ve also drafted a project charter for a community of practice which will serve as a mechanism for us to collaborate more effectively with our research community. The are a number of other projects I’m working on that I look forward to sharing in the coming months along with growing the Open Science Unit team.

What do you find most inspirational with SciLifeLab

The people at SciLifeLab. Everyone I’ve met has been very friendly, been eager to help, had interesting stories to tell, and they love their work. I’ve really enjoyed meeting and working with everyone.

Any hidden talents?

Whenever I join trivia games I end up knowing the answers to random questions that nobody else knows.

Last read book?

My sister suggested that I read Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights which I’ve just started ahead of the holidays. Otherwise, I often read the Economist when I can find the time.


Last updated: 2024-04-08

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