"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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