[open-science] Open science from public funding

Bill Hooker cwhooker at fastmail.fm
Tue Mar 17 08:16:49 UTC 2009

> On what grounds should any data not be open? 

In the US, the Bayh-Dole act is the main culprit:


It allows universities and other research bodies to own IP derived from
federally funded work.  Beancounters responded to this in predictable
fashion, and all US scientists who "came of age" (e.g. went through grad
school) since 1980 have been steeped all their careers in the resulting
culture of secrecy.  

Add to Bayh-Dole the skyrocketing level of competition for research
positions in academia over the last three decades (competition based
almost exclusively on publication, publication in turn being dependent
on data) and you reach the current situation where researchers would
rather share a toothbrush than share data (Carol Goble?).

There is, I think, a similar provision in Australian law -- certainly
all universities and research institutions have tech transfer offices,
and certainly the same bass-ackwards me-first scientific culture has
arisen there.  I don't know about other countries.



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