Among the dignitaries attending were the Hon. Mieko Kamimoto, Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Dr. Hideo Miyahara, President of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), which will also host the new International Programme Office. Dr. Takashi Onishi, President, Science Council of Japan, and Dr. Steven Wilson, Executive Director of ICSU were also present.
The WDS International Progamme Office will manage and coordinate the establishment and operations of the WDS, and take responsibility for outreach. It will act under the guidance of the ICSU World Data System Scientific Committee which brings together leading scientists working on scientific data issues. The first Executive Director of WDS and Director of its International Programme Office is Dr. Mustapha Mokrane.
The creation of WDS builds on the 50-year legacy of the ICSU World Data Centres (WDCs) and the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data-analysis services (FAGS) and seeks to build on the potential offered by advanced interconnections between data management components in order to foster disciplinary and multidisciplinary applications for the benefit of the international scientific community and other stakeholders. WDS seeks to become a world-wide ‘community of excellence’ for stewardship and provision of scientific data.
“Society was increasingly calling on science to help solve highly complex and inter-connected problems like climate change and sustainable development. However this required that science itself, including data, become more integrated and global”, said ICSU President Lee, adding that the vision of the World Data System was to transform today’s collection of data bodies into an integrated and inter-operable system.