Open Science in Action Symposium

To speed up discovery and impact health, we must transform our approach to science. Innovations in biomedical science and big data technology have brought hope, and are powered by a new way of doing science: Open Science. This is the concept of sharing research data and materials, and removing barriers to collaboration.

Our annual Open Science in Action symposiums welcome you to engage and exchange around Open Science in action at The Neuro and beyond.

Use this resource page to learn more from national and international experts on Open Science and intellectual property protocols, ethics, patient consent and engagement, pharma, neuroinformatics, and more!

Join the conversation online: Follow us and use the #OpenScienceinAction hashtag!

Inaugural Open Science in Action Invitation Message from Guy Rouleau, Director of The Neuro (November 2019)


Our program includes detailed information about our annual symposiums, including agenda, message from The Neuro's Director, sponsors, and speaker biographies. 

Inaugural Symposium (November 18, 2019) 

Presentation Slides

Click on the presenter's name to download their slides. 

My Open Science Story 

Science is a journey; Open Science is the extra mile. Hear from scientists who have been brave enough to dive into building open resources to accelerate research. They will review the impact it has had on their scientific communities, the difficulties they encountered, and what they would have done differently along the way. These first-person accounts are sure to inspire those on similar paths.

  • Jean Gotman, Open iEEG Atlas, The Neuro
  • Marco Prado, Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia, Scientist, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario
  • Jane Roskams, Chair, Data Analytics, Training and Education, Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform

Open Science: Living Your Cure

When Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS at 37 years old, he turned that devastating diagnosis into a movement -- into hope for all people living with ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and MS so that together, we could speed up the discovery of cures. Join a conversation with Brian Wallach and Danielle Carnival about a patient-led, patient-centric movement that is already changing how we combat disease.

Open for Business: Open Science and Pharma Partnerships

Too many brain diseases are without treatments and this needs to change. Learn more from leading examples on how an Open Science collaborative drug discovery and development model can bring together key players from academic institutions, pharma and biotech companies to accelerate the drug discovery process.

  • Diane Gosselin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Consortium Québécois sur la Découverte du Médicament (CQDM)
  • Owen Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, M4K Pharma; Chief Executive Officer, Nobelex Biotech
  • Kumar Singh Saikatendu, Associate Director, Global Research Externalization, Takeda

Open Science and Patient Contributions 

This session will discuss patient contributions to scientific research and therapy discovery. Researchers and industry partners recognize the tremendous value of patient materials and data, but what are the implied risks to the patients? How should we balance collecting invaluable patient contributions with our responsibility to protect patient privacy?

  • Bartha Knoppers, Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University
  • David Buckeridge, Professor, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University; Medical Director, McGill University Health Centre's Data Warehouse

Open Science Beyond Canada 

Open Science provides great promise for researchers globally. New approaches to scientific exchange and collaboration are emerging and becoming increasingly popular. In this session, learn more about the initiatives and actors advancing Open Science practices in the USA and France.

  • Alain Schuhl, Directeur général délégué à la science (Chief Research Officer), French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
  • Suzana Petanceska, Program Director, Systems Biology and Systems Pharmacology and Senior Advisor, Strategic Development and Partnerships, Division of Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Supporting the Invisible Foundations of Science

One of the ways we can foster open, collaborative research is by supporting and rewarding the creators and maintainers of open outputs — software, data, methods — that underpin modern science. Learn more about the priorities and opportunities CZI is working on to make these critical (and often invisible) contributions visible, fundable, and recognized.

  • Dario Taraborelli, Science Program Officer, Open Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) 

​​​Open Science Methods for Communities

The conceptual origins of Open Science in open source software have led to approaches centered entirely around open data, open access, open notebook science, and more. While these approaches attempt to reset the default from closed to open, every default has its own externalities, including open. This talk will explore how communities can leverage Open Science as a suite of methods but also may depend on “safe” environments to share early hypotheses privately, and the relationship of epistemic diversity to Open Science.

Implementing Open Science: MTAs, Contracts, Collaboration, and Commercialization 

As more researchers are embracing Open Science practices, the development of new contractual arrangements and commercial strategies are needed to structure Open Science collaborations and partnerships, and to translate results into products that serve the public good. Learn more about open material transfer agreements (MTAs), open collaboration and partnerships agreements, open commercialization strategies, and other agreements needed to implement Open Science.

  • Richard Gold, Professor and founding Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, McGill University
  • Dylan Roskams-Edris, Open Science Alliance Officer, Tanenbaum Open Science Institute, The Neuro

Open and FAIR Datasets 

This session will explore the wide dissemination, access, visualization and information extraction from life sciences datasets -- with specific examples from brain imaging and population health data - and the broader challenge of annotating datasets with metadata to make them findable.

  • Chris Gorgolewski, Senior Software Engineer, Google DataSearch Project
  • Jennifer Stine Elam, Director, Scientific Outreach and Education, Human Connectome Project, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  • Ian Mathews, Co-founder, Redivis
  • Isabella Chu, Associate Director, Data Core, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine

Open Lab Notebooks: How we got here and what's next? 

In this practical session on how to develop Open Lab Notebooks, we will discuss how to make an impact on different stakeholder communities by sharing your science in real time and build lasting collaborations to advance science, with Q&A.

  • Rachel Harding, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Fellow, Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), University of Toronto
  • Thomas Durcan, Associate Director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU), The Neuro

Towards an Open Science Ecosystem for Neuroimaging

Within the field of neuroimaging, Open Science has become the norm. Learn more about the set of tools, standards, and resources that have enabled the development of Open Science in this domain, and the lessons learned from this success.

  • Russell Poldrack, Director, Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience, and Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology, Stanford University 


Fueling the Light of Open Science: The Role of Private Funders

The founding of The Neuro in 1934 and the crucial support of the Rockefeller Foundation is an invaluable case study of the factors that weigh into what it takes to fulfill a powerful scientific vision and how it is that private foundations make funding decisions. Addressing the pressing needs for treatments for those suffering from neurological disorders and the hope that the required advances derive from integrating basic neuroscience with clinical brain sciences that ignited the founding of The Neuro is still, 85 years later, a urgent and global moral imperative. Why is it so challenging to effectively treat neurological diseases? Will the opportunities associated with the adoption of open science principles and practices be the promised game changer for society? What is the appropriate role for private funders to play as academic science undergoes a major cultural transformation?

Live Recordings

Open Science in Action Symposium: Live from the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre (2019)

Open Science in Action Symposium: Live from the de Grandpré Communications Centre (2019)

Open Science in Action Symposium | Live from 'Open for Business: Open Science & Pharma partnerships' (2019)

Open Science in Action Symposium: Live from 'Open Lab Notebooks: How we got here and what's next?'


Thank you to our 2019 sponsors for their generous support:

Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives logo

Azrieli Foundation logo

Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) logo

Tanenbaum Open Science Institute logo


Tell us how we did! Your feedback is invaluable in helping us evaluate our successes and identify how we can improve future events.

Fill out our survey


For more information about upcoming Open Science in Action symposiums, contact: 

Debbie Rashcovsky
Events Officer, The Neuro 
Tel. +1-514-398-6047
Email: debbie.rashcovsky [at] (subject: Open%20Science%20in%20Action%3A%20Inaugural%20Symposium%20)


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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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