[okfn-discuss] open science vs science suppression

Tom Roche Tom_Roche at pobox.com
Fri Feb 21 16:02:15 UTC 2014

Democracy Now! today


has an interview with Tyrone Hayes regarding Syngenta's attempts to suppress then smear his research on atrazine. The Hayes interview starts ~31 min into the audio, and runs ~17 min. DN! does not (as I post) have a transcript up, but usually does within ~12 hr of end-of-broadcast (0900 EDT). However, DN's piece is following up Rachel Aviv's recent non-paywall-ed New Yorker article


In both, Hayes alludes to something that I believe should be foregrounded by the open-science/reproducible-research community: the utility of OSRR and "radical openness" in resisting denial-of-science attacks, esp corporate file-drawer-ing.

OSRR probably won't help avert deployment of the more egregious tactics of evil institutions like Syngenta/Novartis, e.g.,

- orchestrated harassment (including physical stalking and threats)
- scientific astroturfing (by the US "science for hire" industry, e.g., American Council on Science and Health)
- manipulation of regulators (notably, US EPA)
- manipulation of academics (notably the University of California at Berkeley)

and many of them are hopefully US-specific (esp those flowing from corporate control of US universities, regulators, and media). That being said, Syngenta/Novartis is a Swiss company, and neoliberal tactics often flow from the US to the EU (esp the UK).

FWIW, Tom Roche <Tom_Roche at pobox.com>

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