Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bob Marianelli on OA

Sol Lederman, Dr. Bob Marianelli: A Catalyst for Accelerating Chemical Science, OSTIblog, September 5, 2008.
OSTI is founded on the principle that science advances only if knowledge is shared. The OSTI Corollary takes this concept to a new level. It holds that accelerating the spread of knowledge accelerates the advance of science. The advance of science can also be accelerated by funding more bright scientists. In the following blog article, Dr. Bob Marianelli reminisces and gives his perspectives about advancing science throughout his remarkable career.

Dr. Marianelli led a distinguished career as a DOE Program Manager and Director of the Chemistry Division. He had the privilege to shape and manage the process by which the Department of Energy identifies bright chemists and follows their progress. Along the way, he fostered the work of many truly extraordinary scientists, including six who went on to win the Nobel Prize, perhaps the top honor a scientist can receive. In addition to fostering the work of top scientists, Dr. Marianelli played a key role in the construction of a huge facility at Pacific Northwest National Lab, and he positively influenced the direction of other major research facilities. ...

[Q:] Do you believe that scientists and scientific programs funded by the public have an obligation to share the findings of their R&D?

[A:} Yes. I believe in open access. And, I realize that there are people who make money providing information. But, I think there's also something to be said for the fact that the government is the primary supporter of basic research in this country. And, that research is paid for with taxpayer's dollars. I believe that, therefore, we should find a way to have the results of those expenditures available to the public at large. Now, you could take a hard line and say "well, anything the government supports, they have to provide and it gets published in open form. And, someone else would say, on the other extreme, that the government should stay out of it altogether, that people can subscribe to commercial publications if they want access to that information. Since both models of information access exist now, I think we've got to find a way to compromise. The goal is to provide. So, let's recognize that there may be ways to do that where the government somehow, and this isn't unprecedented, would use the private sector to help carry out the mission of providing access to the information to the public. ...