CERN Researcher Antonia Winkler presents her work at BIDS

May 6, 2024

Invited guest Antonia Winkler (CERN PhD student) stopped by BIDS last month to talk about her work and CERN with seminar attendees, and to meet with BIDS leadership. Attendees got a bird’s-eye view of CERN’s unique approach to open science (see abstract below).

Antonia Winkler screenshot

Open science at CERN: Infrastructure, policy and practice

The high-energy physics research conducted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves the generation and application of a highly diverse set of scientific resources. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest experimental setup in the world, requires the development of complex software and hardware components that enable the generation, storage and analysis of research data on an exabyte scale. Large-scale experimentation at CERN further necessitates the coordination of several thousand researchers and has led to the creation of a unique set of software tools that support the organization of research practices throughout the institution.

The highly complex nature of research at CERN has presented the laboratory with challenges in opening up its diverse research outputs. In the course of CERN’s existence, various efforts have emerged to make software, hardware and data generally accessible. This talk will provide an overview of open science milestones at CERN and point to the institutional structures that support the opening up of the lab’s scientific resources. With its unique strategy of taking both software and hardware into account, the newly established Open Source Program Office (OSPO) will receive special attention in this context. To provide an impression of CERN’s diverse landscape of practitioners, open data initiatives such as the CERN Open Data Portal, open hardware efforts such as White Rabbit, and source software endeavors such as Zenodo will be introduced. Finally, the talk will explore the correlations between open science policy, infrastructure and practice at CERN, with a specific focus on the dual role of open source projects as open science infrastructures and open research outputs in their own right.

She outlined the open science milestones going back to 1989, most recently becoming an open source program office (OSPO). Similarly, BIDS is leading UC Berkeley's involvement in the UC-wide OSPO initiative

Antonia Winkler screenshot

Another highlight of Antonia's talk was the role of community and how it will be part of her ongoing work.

Community as key!
We are trying to do two things: build the best product out there in terms of usability, [.] but also we are trying to have the best community out there. So we were giving as much weight to the community aspect of the project [as to] the quality and the simplicity of the product.

Antonia Winkler screenshot