Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Sharing the fruits of science"

University Affairs has an interesting article on Open Science that examines the patents and licensing regime and its impacts on science and the ability to do science. While at times advocating an Open Source-like model of Open Science, the author is a little to wishy-washy and supports hybrid models which are too much of a slippery slope for me.

I also don't agree with a number of statements including:
But now an international scientific counterculture is emerging. Often referred to as "open science" this growing movement proposes that we err on the side of collaboration and sharing.
Counter-culture? I think that he has it backwards: despite the many biotechnologists and biotech companies and other science-based industries that use the patent system to support their business interests - usually encumbering further scientific discovery - the vast majority
of scientists - at least working in academia, and of course with exceptions - have long been and will continue, working in an Open Science environment. Not to take away from the Open Science movement and what it is trying to do. But it existed before someone decided to call it Open Science and it is the default model / mode for most scientists in academia. The tail is wagging the dog a little here...

Thanks to Mary Zborowsky and Michel Sabourin for pointing-out this article.

Related article in University Afairs: "The bottom line on open access" by John Lorinc, March 2006.

No comments: