Chairperson's Address, June 2024

Dear Colleagues and Members,

Over the last few years, we have seen a global trend of increasing confrontation and decreasing collaboration. Prominent examples are Brexit, border shutdowns during the Corona pandemic or the wars in Ukraine and Gaza to name just a few of the most significant events.

On the other hand, the values of our community are clearly routed in Open Science. We believe in an international research community where collaboration is good and facilitates pushing the state-of-the-art more effectively. In this spirit, our British colleagues have remained part of our community irrespective of Brexit, we continued to collaborate during the pandemic by increasing our digital activities and we welcomed a new Ukrainian PC after the Russian aggression.

One example of how Open Science leads to better outcomes is sharing data. In ERCOFTAC, we have a long-lasting tradition of working together in validating new computational and experimental methods, e.g. through workshops organized by Special Interest Groups (SIGs) but also by providing validation data and best practices through the ERCOFTAC Knowledge Base Wiki.

You may have heard about how artificial intelligence (AI) based models, like the Large Language Model ChatGPT of OpenAI, inherit the biases of their training data. Hence, it is easy to grasp that, if you do not know or trust how data-driven models are trained, their usefulness is greatly impaired. This is why open knowledge and data hubs, like ours, will become key in developing AI-based models. To this end, I’m looking forward to your contributions to our SIGs and our data and knowledge hubs!

Finally, next year, we will have one of my favourite knowledge sharing events: ETMM15. The organizing team is finalizing the time and venue after this summer – so stay tuned! Looking forward to meeting you there or already at our Autumn Festival in London, UK, on 10th and 11th October!

Prof. Dominic von Terzi,
Chairperson of ERCOFTAC