Decolonising Open Science Symposium:
Dismantling Global Hierarchies of Knowledge


This free event was our first Community Development Activity of 2024. FORM invited representatives from…uity/inclusion-and-equity-e Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the International Science Council (ISC), Al Qasimi Foundation (AQF), and NYU Abu Dhabi (NYU AD).

This symposium explored 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 reflected on the impact of academic colonialism and the commodification of knowledge in today’s research landscape, and critically assessed the role of the Open Science movement in challenging/perpetuating these biases.

After briefly offering an overview of the problem, each invited speaker outlined the contributions of their organisation within a specific subset of decoloniality, followed by a moderated panel discussion where they delved 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

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.