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New course from NASA helps build open, inclusive science community

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released its free Open Science 101 curriculum to empower researchers, early career scientists, and underrepresented communities with the knowledge and tools necessary to embrace open science practices.

The curriculum’s initial goal is to train 20,000 scientists and researchers over the next five years, enabling them to embrace open science practices and maximize the impact of their work.

“NASA is committed to ensuring people around the world have equal and open access to science data whenever they need it,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This innovative curriculum will support the White House’s Year of Open Science to help people make informed, research-based decisions that will benefit humanity and improve life here on Earth.”

Developed by NASA’s Transform to Open Science initiative in collaboration with subject matter experts, the curriculum is designed to meet researchers at every stage of their open science journey – catering to those new to open science, established researchers, and aspiring students looking to embark on scientific careers. It also helps prepare researchers to incorporate required open science data management plans when applying for NASA grant funding.

“We believe education is a shared endeavor that can be achieved through community-driven learning,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Our new curriculum is a testament to the incredible potential that emerges when open science experts from academia, industry, and government unite. With this initial rollout, we’re not just launching a course; we’re igniting a movement where learners actively shape the course’s trajectory.”

In its initial form, the Open Science 101 curriculum presents an introduction to the world of open science while also setting the stage for its continued evolution. It introduces learners to definitions, tools, and resources and provides valuable best practices throughout the scientific workflow. All five modules of the course are accessible through an open online platform, where participants can learn at their own pace. In addition to the platform, the modules will also be covered in virtual and in-person instructor-led training sessions.

To further support engagement and knowledge exchange, NASA has forged strategic partnerships with scientific associations, allowing open science to be taught during large annual meetings, special science team summer schools, and other events. These initiatives aim to create a dynamic learning environment where participants can interact with experts, ask questions, and explore the frontiers of open science. The diversity in learning options ensures that participants can choose the mode that best suits their learning style and schedule, optimizing the learning experience.

The Open Science 101 curriculum is accessible to all interested individuals, aligning with NASA’s commitment to inclusivity and promoting equitable access to scientific resources.

To learn more, register for Open Science 101, and begin taking the curriculum, visit:

nasa.github.io/Transform-to-Open-Science

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