Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Nobelist calls for openness in science

John Sulston, recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize for medicine, has launched a new research institute, the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester. Sulston is using the launch to highlight his views on openness in science and the need to reform innovation and intellectual property policy. (Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam.)

See the op-ed co-authored by Sulston and Joseph Stiglitz in the July 5 edition of The Times:
... The question of “Who owns science?” is therefore a crucial one, the answer to which will have broad-reaching implications for scientific progress and for the way in which the benefits of science are distributed, fairly or otherwise. Two of the most pressing issues concern equity of access to scientific knowledge and the useful products that arise from that knowledge. ...

The second issue we wish to highlight is that of access to science itself. The ideal shared by almost all scientists is that science should be open and transparent, not just in its practices and procedures, but so that the results and the knowledge generated through research should be freely accessible to all. There is a broad consensus in the scientific community that such openness and transparency promotes the advancement of science and enhances the likelihood that the benefits of science are enjoyed by all. For more than a hundred years, these principles have been the bedrock of academia and the scientific community.

We call upon all interested in the future of science to join with us in an active and open-ended search for answers.
See also coverage in The Times and the BBC.

Update. See also coverage in IP Watch.