Open Science Forum Takes place at UNESCO



UNESCO, the International Union of Geological Sciences and the Deep-time Digital Earth consortium co-organized the Deep-time Digital Earth Open Science Forum at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 9 November 2022 within the framework of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.

The Forum saw the global launch of the Deep-time Digital Earth programme, which was initiated in 2019. Deep-time Digital Earth is the first Big Science initiative of the International Union of Geological Sciences. The Forum brought together Deep-time Digital Earth members, working groups and task forces and representatives of several international organizations, as well as UNESCO Member States.

In her opening remarks, the Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences of UNESCO, Dr Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, expressed her interest in Deep-time Digital Earth’s work and her expectation that it would contribute to the implementation of Open Science Recommendation. Dr Nair-Bedouelle encouraged Deep-time Digital Earth to contribute to the training and empowerment of geoscientists in Africa and among women, in particular, to manage their natural resources.

Prof. Jennifer McKinley, Chair of the Deep-time Digital Earth Governing Council, described the most significant outcome of Deep-time Digital Earth’s work since 2019 as being the launch of the Deep-time Digital Earth Platform on 8 November 2022, at the Deep-time Digital Earth Governing Council meeting.

The platform will serve as a one-stop platform for data-driven research, education and awareness-raising initiatives to demonstrate the value of geological sciences in addressing global environmental and developmental challenges. Prof. John Ludden, President of the International Union of Geological Sciences, stated that the Deep-time Digital Earth initiative was a game-changer for the accessibility of geological information and it would greatly enhance the International Union of Geological Sciences’ reach to the developing world and young geoscientists.

As a contribution to the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science adopted at the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2021, Deep-time Digital Earth can serve as a potential pilot project.

The Forum attracted more than 150 participants and included four technical sessions. A detailed report on the Forum is available at:

For more information on the organization of the Forum, its outcomes and potential follow-up, please contact