The Graduate Research Academy RNA Biology started as an integrated graduate school of the SFB960 in July 2011 and went through 3 funding periods. On June 30 the current funding period will end and with it the SFB960 and the Graduate Research Academy RNA Biology end after 12 years of existence and fruitful research. In order to celebrate this successful time properly, the Graduate Research Academy invited to its closing event on 31 May with a guest lecture by Prof. Dr. Konrad Förstner.
Prof. Dr. Konrad Förstner (ZB MED/TH Köln) was invited by the PhD representatives of the graduate school to give a lecture and discuss the topic of open science. The audience was able to experience a very interesting lecture on a highly topical subject. Prof. Förstner described the current situation of publication practice, pointed out many problems and controversies and showed alternative ways and some possibilities how scientists can or could publish their own research data without commercial journals.
First of all, Prof. Förstner emphasized that the current publication practice actually contradicts the original idea of science and principally, science always has to be open. In addition, the FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) were presented, which should complement an open scientific culture. Based on a research cycle, different levels were introduced on which open science can take place. The major hurdles on the way to implementing a more open science culture can be found in the current reward system, the infrastructure or simply in the level of knowledge and attention to the topic of "open science". In order to gain more attention to this topic, information events such as the lecture by Prof. Förstner are crucial. In addition, some political measures were presented, for example at EU level, which are intended to create incentives for establishing the principles of "open science" in everyday scientific life. The lecture was followed by a lively discussion which continued in the foyer of the biology building and over dinner in Unikat. The feedback of the PhD students on the lecture and discussion with Prof. Förstner was very positive.
We say thank you to Prof. Förstner for this very interesting lecture and also to everyone who has been involved in the Graduate Research Academy RNA Biology or its events over the past 12 years, as well as to all our supporters and last but not least to all PhD students who completed their PhD during this time wihin the Graduate Research Academy.