"In Science in the Private Interest , a strongly argued polemic against the commercial conditions in which scientific research currently operates, he shows how universities have become little more than instruments of wealth. This shift in the mission of academia, Krimsky claims, works against the public interest. Universities have sacrificed their larger social responsibilities to accommodate a new purpose--the privatization of knowledge--by engaging in multimillion-dollar contracts with industries that demand the rights to negotiate licenses from any subsequent discovery (as Novartis did, Krimsky reports, in a $25 million deal with the University of California at Berkeley). Science has long been ripe for industrial colonization. The traditional norms of disinterested inquiry and free expression of opinion have been given up in order to harvest new and much-needed revenues."
O'Reilly Network Does Publicly Funded Research Have to Result in Open Source Code?
"A debate is heating up in the academic community over whether software that is generated by publicly funded research must be released with an open source license. The Internet is one example of how releasing research code benefited the public, but the trend seems to be changing now, and universities are more likely to consider the profit opportunity. The Bayh-Dole Act paved the way for the privatization of publicly funded resources, but not everyone is happy with the results.
Against the tide of privatization comes a group of bioinformatics researchers and programmers with an online petition to require that all software created by publicly funded research projects be licensed as open source. They have founded a group and a Web site, OpenInformatics.org, to further this cause.
Here we present two opposing viewpoints on this issue."redux [02.27.01]
The Economist Science and profit
"ONCE upon a time, pure and applied science were the same. Sir Humphry Davy discovered seven chemical elements, and invented the miner's safety lamp. Louis Pasteur investigated the properties of molecules, and worked out how to stop milk spoiling. Everybody thought that was admirable. Somehow, things have changed. Today the feeling is widespread that science and commerce should not - must not - mix. There is a queasy suspicion that the process of discovery is in some way corrupted if it is driven by profit."
"Far from compromising science, profit in both these cases - the development of new medicines and the elucidation of the genome - has animated it, and directed it towards meeting pressing human needs. It is a happy marriage. Davy and Pasteur would surely have approved."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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