I’ve argued for a while now that we’re at or near a data tipping point beyond which lies a new world where companies analyze many fundamentally new types of data in real-time and use it to make business decisions that were previously impossible.
There is a need to make that data available in a jargon-free format and with guidance on how to use it effectively. A new organization will do just that. On September 22, PREP, the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness, was launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, World Resources Institute, U.S. Global Change Research Program, and a host of industry supporters including Microsoft and Google. PREP will harness the data revolution to strengthen climate resilience efforts, streamline climate data delivery, and inform researchers and data providers which climate data are most valuable.
On 27 May the Competitiveness Council in Brussels announced a European decision to achieve Open Access to all scientific research data by 2020. This decision, and the implementing European framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020, will be recognized by future generations as the first serious step toward the creation of a prosperous world at peace. With this one decision Europe is turning away from centuries of war and waste; away from scientific reductionism, away from corporate ownership of public knowledge, away from legal barriers to innovation, and away from government neglect of the public interest.
The Common Search Project has a simple and straightforward mission statement. They want a nonprofit search engine, an alternative to the companies currently running the Internet (ahem, Google.) They are extremely polite in their venture, but also firmly invested in three qualities for the search engine that they intend to build and run: openness, transparency, and independence. The core values include,
“Radical transparency. Our search results must be explainable and reproducible. All our code is open source and results are generated only using publicly available data. Transparency also extends to our governance, finances and day-to-day operations.
Independence. No single person, company or special interest must be able to influence the order of our search results to their benefit. …
Public service. We want to build and operate a free service targeted at a large, mainstream audience.”