6th Sci-GaIA Workshop on
The 6th Sci-GaIA Workshop took place on February 3rd 2017 at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Dr Joseph Matiko and Dr Amos Nungu hosted the event which was attended by academics, researchers and students from various institutions across Tanzania and beyond.
The aim of the event was to discuss the principles and practices of Open Science, approaches to research publishing and the role of ICT such as Science Gateways and e-Infrastructures.
Dr Simon J E Taylor presented the Open Science Platform created by the Sci-GaIA project to support Open Science and to promote Open Science in Africa. He demonstrated the impact of the Sci-GaIA project outcomes on African communities such as knowledge sharing via Open Access Repositories for the ELabs project in Sengerema, Tanzania. He also discussed strategies for publishing in prestigious scientific journals.
Two of the Sci-GaIA Champions presented real-world examples of Open Science in an African context. Mr. Stephan Mgaya spoke about his work on developing a Science Gateway for Machine Learning applications. He explained the deployment of the WEKA suite on the Open Science Platform and how this is used for breast cancer data analysis. Ms Diana Rwegasira presented the integration of the Technology Transfer Alliance Collaboration Platform with the Open Science Platform to enable resource sharing among students, communities and educators.
Dr Anastasia Anagnostou and Dr Simon J E Taylor discussed Open Science approaches to simulation, the so-called “third way” of scientific discovery, and the critical role it plays in science and industry. Dr Anagnostou introduced discrete-event simulation and agent-based simulation and presented examples of industrial and healthcare applications. Two innovative open simulation examples were demonstrated. The first was an agent-based simulation for studying the cost-effectiveness of physical activity interventions developed using an open source tool. It was discussed how using Open Science techniques it could be shared between health economists in the UK and Ghana. The second was a simulation developed between the South African Shout-it-Now charity and the Simul8 Corporation. This was developed to study resource allocation strategies for optimising HIV testing clinics. Working with Brunel University London’s Modelling & Simulation Group and the Sci-GaIA project, the charity and Simul8 have developed an openly accessible version of the simulation to show how this powerful technique can be used in African Healthcare (figure).
Access the simulation at http://www.simul8healthcare.com/shout-it-now-simulation.
Finally, Dr Taylor presented the Sci-GaIA approach to open simulation and showed how data, software and results can be accessed through a published scientific paper.
The Workshop concluded with a very vibrant networking and collaboration planning discussion facilitated by Dr Joseph Matiko. This session gave the opportunity for discussions on further research opportunities nationally and internationally. The main outcome of the discussions emphasised the importance of Open Science for research and further training in Africa so as to enhance skills that facilitate quality scientific publishing and research grant opportunities.
Dr Anastasia Anagnostou
Modelling & Simulation Group
Brunel University London