Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, December 19, 2008

Obama's NOAA nominee and OA

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has selected his nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, marine biologist Jane Lubchenco. (Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam.)

Lubchenco has been involved in the debate about OA, and especially about open data, most notably during her tenure as president of the International Council for Science. At the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003, Lubchenco highlighted the importance of access to scientific data, but stopped short of calling for OA. But an editorial in Science, co-authored by Lubchenco and Shuichi Iwata, seemed to go further:

The World Summit on the Information Society ... provides an unprecedented opportunity for the scientific community to promote the importance of open access to scientific knowledge to world leaders ...

Although no one appears to be strongly opposed to the principle of open and equitable access to scientific data and knowledge, that value can easily be relegated to a secondary position relative to short-term commercial interests. Hence, it is crucial that the science community continue to promote the societal benefit of widely shared scientific knowledge. ...

P.S. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce, one of 11 departments and agencies that was covered under the proposed Federal Research Public Access Act, which would have required public access to research funded by those departments and agencies.

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