This week, scientists from all over the world will descend on Exeter, England, to take action on something they've only been talking about for years: making climate data free for everyone.
After the firestorm surrounding email leaks from the University of East Anglia , the pressure is on to make available all of the data currently recorded on climate from around the world. This large bank will allow scientists working in all manners of research to have one go-to point for getting up-to-date information. It will also, by default, highlight the topic areas and regions of the world that are lacking in such data -- giving emerging and veteran researchers a jumping off point for new projects.
While the move does have its detractors -- some people feel that the general public doesn't possess the skill-set for interpreting raw data, and therefor may take things out of context or misinterpret -- overall, it offers educators and students in the sciences a wonderful resource for learning how to conduct research while contributing to the discourse. We'll be keeping an ear open to hear what plans these workshops yield over the course of the week.