Johanna Havemann arbetar med Open Science i Afrika, genom digitala arkivet AfricArXiv. Hon är konsult och coach inom Open Science Communication och Digital Science Project Management på egna företaget Access 2 Perspectives. Johanna Havemann medverkar som talare under ”Hållbara samhällen och bibliotek – Live från Malmö” som föreningen arrangerar 27 maj.

You are passionate about Open Science. Why?
– The short answer is that ’Science without open is just anecdote’. What is the value in knowing researchers’ findings are available, but only for a small number of people for a price too high? What is the value of results other scientists cannot verify because protocols, procedures and overall methodology that led to the results are cryptic or not provided? What is the value of closed unilateral peer review, where the authors have hardly any chance of explaining themselves in case of misinterpretations by the editors? For me, Open Science is nothing more and nothing less than good scientific practice, where procedures are transparently documented and the scientific discourse is open and serves societies on local, regional and global levels alike.

How has the ongoing pandemic changed your work?
– My colleagues and I have been more productive than ever, since the onset of the pandemic. With a focus on Open Science in Africa, we have compiled a list of preprints and data sets. We hope that making these available will inform a reflected and efficient African response to the pandemic, but also allow for long term implementation of an independent and interconnected African Open Science infrastructure that is interoperable on a global scale.

What do you think is the most important quality for a science communicator?
– Science communication is complex and there is hardly any right or wrong. Many scientists see their primary role in conducting research but corporate publishers have forced them to also become vivid science communicators of their own work, once a paper is published. This should not be the necessity. Yes, it is important to inform industrials, policy makers, citizens and other stakeholders of society of the recent findings and the value research provides to societies across the world – not only because quite an amount of tax payers money goes into research and innovation.

Science communication should be fun and rewarding. And it can be or actually is an integral part of Open Science. By sharing preliminary results and research-relevant questions in blogs, on Twitter and other media chances are high to receive invaluable feedback and input to your work – and in some cases identify new collaborators.

To answer the question in my view, the most important quality for a science communicator is to be able to focus on the outcome of the communication effort. What is it that we want to achieve? Who do we want to reach? What message are we passing and why?

Text: Matilda Andréasson Gurenius