2020 in Review at CS&S

Header photo credit: Dr. Emily Lescak, CS&S Event Fund Manager, Alyeska Highway Looking at the Chugach Mountains, Girdwood, Alaska in December 2020

2020 has been a year of changes. At Code for Science & Society, we’ve seen our personal and professional circles grow with new babies, new fiscally sponsored projects, the launch of our new Event Fund (with a quick pivot to virtual), and new Board members. While our worlds shrank as in person events disappeared, we worked to grow our virtual communities and support each other through difficult times.

All of our fiscally sponsored projects this year cited COVID-19 among their greatest challenges this year. The cancelling of conferences and other events had a huge impact on their community outreach and engagement. As a result, projects saw increased demand for online internships and other ways to engage. For some projects, the pandemic added a critical urgency to their work as they played a role in supporting the global response. M-Lab, Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), and PREreview jumped to address COVID-19 needs:

As we close the year and look ahead, we will continue to improve our transparency,  improve access to funding, launch innovative and timely initiatives, and bring vibrant events to the open public interest technology community. At the same time, we are looking within to thoughtfully build our governance with an anti-racist lens thorough work with DeEtta Jones and Associates.

If you’re in the position to give this year, and if giving to the people who work for this community is a priority for you, please consider donating to CS&S. How are donations used? We are a distributed organization and most of our budget is devoted to paying people. All of our programs and sponsored projects are improving access to knowledge with their open initiatives, but work in this sector is always hard to resource.  In our community, even small donations make an impact: codeforscience.org/donate/

From all of us at CS&S, I wish you and your communities a happy and healthy new year. On a personal note, I hope you each get to take some time off to recharge as the year closes. Read on below for updates from all our programs and sponsored projects - see you in 2021!

Collaborative Communities Program

Event Fund: This year, we introduced the Event Fund, targeting virtual events that support tools, communities, and practices in research-driven open data science. This fund is made possible through an award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (DOI: https://doi.org/10.37807/GBMF8449). Event fund manager, Dr. Emily Lescak, worked with the fund’s advisory committee to establish the program’s governance structure and develop the first request for proposals. Proposals were submitted and tracked using OpenReview, one of CS&S’s fiscally-sponsored projects, and evaluated by the fund’s selection committee. Our first cohort of grantees will organize global, virtual events focused on mentoring open data science project leaders, developing inclusive data science curricula, data visualization and standardization, and teaching data science skills.

In 2021, we will establish a community of our inaugural grantees and work with them to advertise their events and develop meaningful impact tracking strategies. We will also release our second request for proposals in January and seek additional funding partners.

Stay tuned for another exciting community focused initiative launching in 2021!

Illustration of two people working together at a desk, connected by a thought bubble.

Illustration by Jessica Klein for Invest in Open Infrastructure

Fiscally Sponsored Projects Program

Innovation Information Initiative

Invest in Open Infrastructure

Measurement Lab



  • In August, OpenReview worked with the European Conference on Computer Vision. This flagship event had over 7,000 research submissions to process in less than 48 hours! The team at OpenReview developed a detailed workflow for the ECCV program chairs and provided 24/7 support.
  • See a full list of conferences that are supported by OpenReview at openreview.net.
  • To learn more about how OpenReview supports large conferences with their peer review processes read the team’s report on their work with ECCV.


  • Join PREreview at JROST on December 16, 2020 at 7:10pm EST for a discussion around current issues of scholarly peer review!
  • PREreview is piloting Open Reviewers, a mentoring program that matches early career researchers with experienced reviewers so they can learn how to write socially conscious and constructive reviews.
  • Stay tuned for the release of a new platform for crowdsourcing preprint reviews in early 2021!

Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E)

  • R4E joined the CS&S Fiscally Sponsored Project Program this fall
  • With support from The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, R4E gained funding to support strategic development and sustainability. With these funds R4E was able to hire it’s first Executive Director, April Clyburne-Sherin.
  • R4E plans to host its first community meeting soon. Follow them on Twitter and their event calendar to stay up-to-date!

Research Software Alliance