Last year I started my PhD studying mathematical and computational modeling applied to epidemiological problems. Soon enough I saw myself messily dealing with tons of incidence data, climate data, NAs, difficult visualization and lots of complicated scripts not version controlled, without quite knowing the best way around it.
That’s when I found out about the 2018 CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science at the ICTP and applied to it. I was very excited about attending it and learning about all those interesting stuff we hear about a lot nowadays: data science, artificial intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, big data… Though I did learn a lot about all those interesting and useful topics, participating at the CODATA-RDA School opened the door into a whole new world inside academia. Learning about Open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable)) Science was the true invaluable gift I have brought from this experience, together with getting a ticket inside the worldwide CODATA-RDA Schools network, a community full of brilliant, idealistic and responsible scientists.
I was able to absorb this Open Science culture, and now I try to actively apply it to my academic life, whether passing the word forward or being always conscious about my choices related to publishing and sharing information. With this spirit, I went after the School organizers and expressed my interest in helping out during the 2018 CODATA-RDA School at ICTP-SAIFR, which luckily happened to be my home institution.
As a helper, it was greatly satisfying to see other brilliant scientist getting excited and joining this new world. Furthermore, it was very useful to advance my data science skills, as teaching and helping others is acknowledgedly the most effective way to learn about any subject.
After this second enlightening experience, next chapters include being more actively involved in spreading the Open Science culture; helping in the organization of the next CODATA-RDA Schools; being part of groups like the Rladies, who are engaged in voluntarily expanding the R community to all interested people, specially minorities; and applying all I learned so far together with my own work group.
Caroline Franco - #dataTrieste18 student, #dataSaoPaulo18 helper.