Is Open Science Good for Research?

Roundtable event

Date: March 31, 2023
Time: 16:30-18:00 online & in-person at the Alumni Auditorium (Forum building, Streatham campus, Exeter)
Chair: Sabina Leonelli
Discussants: Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide), Helen Longino (Stanford University), Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), Sally Wyatt (University of Maastricht)
Registration: Free, was open until March 18 for online or in-person attendance

This public debate brings together world-leading scholars working at the intersection of Open Science, Science and Technology Studies and the philosophy of science, to discuss the value, opportunities and challenges involved in making research more open. The Open Science movement has been tremendously successful, spurring a global shift in research policies, evaluation procedures and publication channels. At first sight, this seems to be a very good thing: a necessary development in the face of research and publication practices that have grown more and more restrictive, inaccessible and (arguably) unreliable over the last few decades. At the same time, the specific ways in which science is being made open – ranging from Open Access publishing agreements to Open Data mandates by funders and research institutions – are proving controversial and, in some cases, downright damaging to at least some forms of research.

The panel will debate the pros and cons of Open Science policies and practices, with ample time devoted to interventions from the audience. We aim for this session to foster a frank exchange of views over the ongoing transformation of the research landscape, and the ways it affect scientific work at the University of Exeter and beyond. This debate is organised by the PHIL_OS project ( ) and generously sponsored by the European Research Council, the Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences, the Open Science team at the Library of the University of Exeter, and the Institute for Data Science and AI.


Rachel A. Ankeny is a Professor in History and Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar whose areas of expertise cross three fields: history/philosophy of science, bioethics and science policy, and food studies. Her research interests include epistemological issues relating to scientific communities and collaborations. She has extensive experience in research planning and strategy at the Faculty of Arts at Adelaide and coordinating Engagement and Impact submissions. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science and president of the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB).

Helen Longino is C.I. Lewis Professor in Philosophy, emerita, at Stanford University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her teaching and research interests are in philosophy of science, social epistemology, and feminist philosophy. In addition to many articles, Longino is the author of Science As Social Knowledge (Princeton University Press, 1990), The Fate of Knowledge (Princeton University Press, 2001), both of which explore the social character of scientific knowledge, and Studying Human Behavior (University of Chicago Press, 2013), a study of the relationship between logical, epistemological, and social aspects of behavioral research.

Cameron Neylon is Professor of Research Communication at Curtin University. He currently focusses on how research cultures affect research communications. He maintains the blog Science in the Open and speaks regularly on issues of Open Science including Open Access publication, Open Data, and Open Source as well as the wider technical and social consequences of the internet on the practice of science. Named a SPARC Innovator in July 2010 for work on the Panton Principles, he was a co-author of the Altmetrics manifesto and of the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures. He proudly received the Blue Obelisk for contributions to open data.

Sally Wyatt is professor of digital cultures at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She brings her many decades of experience of studying the societal aspects of digital technologies to considering what we mean by the terms of the title of this event: open, science, good, research. Wyatt has served on several national (Dutch) and international committees addressing questions of open and big data, research integrity and good research practices. She has published widely on these questions, and on the societal aspects of developing and using digital technologies in healthcare and in the production of knowledge.