10 Jan 2019

Keynote Speaker Highlight: Leslie Chan

We are just several weeks away from inaugural Pacific Northwest OpenCon satellite event - aptly named OpenCon Cascadia. The mission of OpenCon Cascadia is to build an inclusive, collaborative community, spanning all disciplines, domains, and research communities, by flattening hierarchical structures to provide a more open and equitable place for individuals to thrive. This Pacific Northwest community aims to support and foster mentorship, innovative solutions, collective projects, and energizing conversations on all things open, with a focus on building up young or new professionals.

Our opening keynote speaker, Leslie Chan, is a living embodiment of our mission - an eager mentor, an innovative thinker, and is driven to build a more equitable knowledge ecosystem.

Leslie Chan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and the Centre for Critical Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he serves as the Associate Director. An early practitioner of the Web for scholarly exchange and online learning, Leslie is particularly interested in the role and design of network in the flow of knowledge and their impact on local and international development. As one of the original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, a historical and defining event of the global open access movement, Leslie has been active in the experimentation and implementation of scholarly communication initiatives of varying scales around the world. For further information on Leslie’s work and organization involvement read his complete bio on our website.

I first heard Leslie speak at the 2019 OpenCon main conference and was pleasantly surprised to have my current thinking of my work in “open” challenged. It is often easy and appealing to think that on a fundamental level “open” will solve all of the current issues existing within the research or knowledge sharing space. This isn’t necessarily the case and such solutions can be co-opted or lead to a replication of current issues - just in an open space. Leslie highlighted his concerns around recent endeavours in the open space, such as structural issues that dictate how we think about open. Click here to hear his talk.

At OpenCon Cascadia Leslie’s talk, titled “Whose Open Science? How Technology Structures Knowledge Inequality” will continue his critical look at the open science movement. Who is advancing open science and who benefits most? Leslie will help us understand why It’s important to take time to think critically and reflect on open work and how we achieve our goals.

Don’t miss this talk! Register for OpenCon Cascadia here. For questions - email openconcascadia@gmail.com.

Read more about Leslie and his work in open in his interview with the Open Library of Humanities.