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"Open data in science: challenges and opportunities for Europe’’

19 February 2018

The Royal Irish Academy was represented by Dr. Natalie Harrower at Open Data workshop in Brussels.

This successful meeting under the patronage of the European ICSU (International Council for Science) members took place in Brussels on 31st January. The topic for this workshop was Open Data, chosen because of its importance on the European science policy agenda and for the International Council for Science. The workshop aimed to involve science academies, and other science organisations, in a policy dialogue to ensure unhindered access to data to foster scientific progress for the benefit of society. Some 80 meeting participants represented the entire breadth of science organisations from across Europe, including Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, at the Royal Irish Academy. Photographs from the event are available here.  A workshop summary with the presentations and photos are available here.

Dr. Natalie Harrower

Dr. Natalie Harrower is the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, located at the Royal Irish Academy. Recently, Dr. Harrower was appointed to the National Archives Advisory Committee (NAAC), and is a member of the OECD High Level Expert Group on Business Models for Data Repositories. She is on the Board of Directors for the Research Data Alliance's H2020-funded EU support activities, she is an expert reviewer for the European Commission, and she chairs the ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group. Dr. Harrower has worked to build DRI’s community profile and partnerships, and has been instrumental in securing grants for DRI from philanthropists (Atlantic Philanthropies), European funders (FP7, H2020), and Irish funders (SFI, Enterprise Ireland). She leads a number of leveraged projects for DRI, including the multiple award-winning Inspiring Ireland (, and the Royal Irish Academy’s contributions to the collaborative DAH PhD programme. In 2014 Dr. Harrower established the international conference series DPASSH: Digital Preservation for the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, and chaired its inaugural conference in June 2015. Previously, she was the DRI's Manager of Education and Outreach, where she initiated and delivered a broad education and training programme in digital preservation and related areas -- including digital humanities, digital archiving, digital curation, and linked data.

Prior to her appointment at the DRI, Dr. Harrower was a theatre and film scholar, specialising in Irish identity, politics, and historiography, as seen through the critical lens of contemporary Irish theatre and film. Before moving to Ireland to take up an appointment at Trinity College Dublin on an IRCHSS-funded Irish theatre research project, she was an Assistant Professor of Drama at Queen’s University (Canada). Prior to her appointment at Queen’s, she was a lecturer in theatre, film, and Celtic Studies at the University of Toronto. Dr. Harrower received her PhD in Drama from the University of Toronto and her MA in Political Science from York University.

Photo caption:  Dr. Natalie Harrower at Open Data workshop in Brussels courtesy of Simon Pugh Photography

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