Science Magazine really, really, really doesn’t get it

Bruce Alberts has an editorial in this weeks science in which he proposes the idea of “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Merit Badges” – a set of “100 different challenges to choose from at each level of schooling” – to engage students, patents and teachers in science.

Whether you think this is a good idea or not, it’s simply astonishing that this editorial is available only to subscribers of Science – i.e. it is not available to any of the people it hopes to engage!!! What a fitting way to close out open access week…..

Doesn’t Dr. Alberts – whose work as a scientist I greatly respect – understand that one of the biggest problems in science education is that the public is not engaged in any meaningful way with the process of science? And that the imprisoning of the best work of American scientists behind the subscription walls of our most prominent scientific journal is a huge part of the problem?

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2 Comments

  1. Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The Science Scouts have great merit badges: http://www.scq.ubc.ca/sciencescouts/

  2. Posted April 23, 2011 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Scientific publishing is badly broken and needs to be fixed, leading journals like Nature and Science are some of the biggest culprits. Scientists need make a stand against the journals to ensure open access to their own research papers and expository articles.

    The public should be given free access to scientific literature. As tax payers, we pay for most of the research in the first place (government funding for grants). The journals then require us to pay for a second time to view the results of the research.