Decolonising Open Science Symposium: Dismantling Global Hierarchies of Knowledge

23rd of January 2024 | 12pm GST (8am UTC) | Online

This two hour symposium will be hosted by FORM and will bring together leading representatives from PKP, DOAJ, Al Qasimi Foundation, The National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF), and NYU Abu Dhabi to discuss the theoretical and practical implications of global biases in academia. 

Despite the progressive efforts of the Open Science movement to produce more internationally inclusive models of research and education, the Global North is still widely perceived as the center of knowledge, with countries from the Global South at its periphery. Arab institutions and researchers today continue to suffer from this imbalance of power, as Western metrics of authority, language barriers, and Western ideologies continue to be favoured over others, impeding the aspirations of researchers and institutions across the region.

This symposium will explore Western dominance within the production and dissemination of knowledge, and its impact on academic landscapes in the Arab region and beyond. FORM and its invited speakers will reflect on the impact of academic colonialism and the commodification of knowledge in today’s research landscape, and critically reflect on the role of the Open Science movement in challenging/perpetuating these biases.

After briefly offering an overview of the problem, each invited speaker will offer a 10-minute presentation where they will outline the contributions of their organisation within a specific subset of decoloniality, followed by a 45-minute moderated panel discussion where we will delve into a variety of topics including:

  1. language barriers in research and publishing
  2. Production of knowledge under colonial legacies of research
  3. Decolonising research infrastructures
  4. Global biases in metrics and frameworks that privilege western academic practices
  5. The ideological and practical complexities of decolonisation in a globalised world
  6. A post colonial critique of openness under capitalist systems
  7. Anything else that may be of relevance to the subject.

Meet Our Speakers:

What you will learn:

  • An overview of the histories of imperlialism within academia and the current academic landscape from a decolonial lens
  • The complex role of Open Science in feeding the problem and offering solutions 
  • Practical examples of how organisations around the world are working hard to contribute to a knowledge system that is truly equitable, disruptive, and inclusive. 

This event is designed for all our stakeholder groups across the region which is largely comprised of librarians, faculty, researchers, research-funders, and senior university administrators based in the Arab region with an interest in the development and implementation of open science policies and practises.

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