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Will 2009 Be Open or Closed?

Dec 30, 2008, 21:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"A major factor is obviously the change of administration in the US. Although open source has made remarkable gains there over the last decade, it has done so against a background assumption that secrecy is good, at least when it applies to governments. Open source has been notable by its absence from the discussions about the likely policies of the incoming administration, but I think we can see by proxy where things are going through the appointments made in the field of science.

"One of the striking features of the outgoing US administration was its manifest contempt for the scientific process - believing, apparently, that science should be subservient to politics, not the other way around. Among the four eminent scientists appointed to the the new president's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology is Harold Varmus: he has been a pioneer of open access - enabling the public to gain free access to the scientific papers funded by the government. Nor is this the only indication that openness in the form of open access is in the ascendant."

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