The mission of BRDI is to improve the stewardship, policy, and use of digital data and information for science and broader society. It undertakes studies, workshops, symposia such as this one, and many other activities in pursuit of that change. The current chair of the Board is Professor Michael Lesk of Rutgers University, also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the vice chair is Dr. Roberta Balstad of Columbia University, who is on the steering committee of this symposium. Other members of the symposium steering committee include Professor Barbara Andrews of the University of Chile in Santiago; Dr. John Rumble of Information International Associates in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Professor Tilahun Yilma of the University of California, Davis in Sacramento, California, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and Professor William Wulf of the University of Virginia and the former president of the National Academy of Engineering. Paul Uhlir, the director of the Board on Research Data and Information, is the other main co-organizer of this symposium.
Both boards are cooperating on this project with the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (CFRS), organized under the International Council for Science (ICSU). ICSU was founded in Paris in 1932 as a nongovernmental organization dedicated to strengthening international science for the benefit of society. The CFRS was founded in 1963 with a mandate to promote the ICSU principle of universality of science, which encompasses the freedom of movement, association, expression, and communication for scientists, as well as equitable access to data, information, and research materials. Professor Bengt Gustafsson of the University of Uppsala in Sweden is the chair of the CFRS, and Professor Roger Pfister of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences is the executive director. Both are here today and will be actively participating in the symposium.
We all share the same world. We share its environment, its natural resources, and our common humanity. We must also share our knowledge. Addressing the great global challenges of sustainability, health, and prosperity are all well served by opening access to and sharing scientific and technological data and information.