Ethical issues in health data, encouraging citizens to become scientists, new careers in science, Brexit and dealing with gender biases in research are some of the Euroscience Open Forum’s topics that are being discussed today.

One of the keynote speakers was John Ioannidis who talked about the importance of reproducible research. John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc is the C.F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention, and Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy, and of Statistics. He is also the Co-Director of Stanford’s Metrics meta-research innovation center and he is internationally recognized as a leader in empirical studies assessing biases, replication, and reliability of research findings in biomedicine and beyond. His paper on “Why most Published Research Findings are False,” has been the most-accessed article in the history of Public Library of Science with over 1 million hits.

Mr. Ioannidis referred to a persisting problem in the research world; the fact that too many studies use samples that are too small to reach generalizable conclusions. However, the pressure on researchers, the competition between journals and media’s desire to announce revolutions or major discoveries, means that studies like these that are insufficient, continue to be published.

Some of the ways to deal with this issue involves the adoption of solutions with empirical evidence, thinking ahead the research agenda while keeping in mind the element of surprise. Since the Euroscience Open Forum’s main slogan this year is sharing knowledge, Mr. Ioannidis underlined the importance of collaboration and opening up science to the public by encouraging citizens to become amateur scientists.

In the biomedical sector, the rates for knowledge and data sharing has slightly gone up over the past few years while it remains very low in the high tech sector. “For the sharing to be done efficiently however, there has to be incentives for scientists as well as centralized infrastructures that can support and facilitate the exchange of information. Scientists also have to be trained by academic and scientific institutions regarding dealing with bias in science…We need research on reproducibility, we need meta-research to move speculation in evidence and then into concrete actions” concluded John Ioannidis.