Category Archives: science and politics

NIH Director Francis Collins’ ridiculous “We would have had an Ebola vaccine if the NIH were fully funded” meme

Almost as soon as the African Ebola epidemic hit the headlines, NIH Director Francis Collins was making the rounds arguing that we would have had an Ebola vaccine by now, if only Congress hadn’t slashed the NIH budget. Lest you think I’m taking his words out of context, here is what he said to a House Energy […]

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Apotheosis of cynicism and deceit from scholarly publishers

The Association of American Publishers, who lobby on behalf of most for-profit and society scholarly publishers, have long opposed moves to make the scientific literature more readily available to the public. But, as open access publishing has gained traction and funders increasingly demand free access to the work they fund, the AAP’s defense of the […]

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Blinded by Big Science: The lesson I learned from ENCODE is that projects like ENCODE are not a good idea

When the draft sequence of the human genome was finished in 2001, the accomplishment was heralded as marking the dawn of the age of “big biology”. The high-throughput techniques and automation developed to sequence DNA on a massive scale would be wielded to generate not just genomes, but reference data sets in all areas of […]

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How President Obama could really lead on open access

[The Washington Post ran a nice op-ed today from two student leaders linked to the recent public access petition campaign. I had submitted one that urges the administration to take a more agressive stance, which I am posting here.] Last weekend, a “We the People” petition calling on the Obama administration to provide free access […]

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The anti-GMO campaign’s dangerous war on science

This November, Californians will vote on an initiative that would require any food containing ingredients derived from genetically modified crops to be labeled as such. Backers of the “California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” are pitching it as a matter of providing information to consumers, who, they argue, “have a right to know […]

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Xenophobic scientific publishers: open access aids foreign enemies

The American Association of Publishers and the anti-open access DC Principles group have sent letters to both houses of Congress outlining why they oppose the Federal Research Public Access Act, which would make the results of all federally funded research publicly available. They largely trot out the same tired “not all publishers are alike, so don’t impose […]

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We won the Battle of the Research Works Act. Now let’s win the War for Open Access.

Late last year Elsevier and two of its allies in Congress quietly introduced a bill that would have halted the trend towards increased public access to the results of government funded research headlined by the NIH’s Public Access Policy. This brazen act, which its backers hoped would pass unnoticed in the quiet of the holidays, […]

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Better version of “Boycott Elsevier” t-shirt

And here’s a hi-res version of the image if you want it. Some other versions I’ve been working on:  

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Because the “Boycott Elsevier” movement needed a t-shirt

I decided to design an image: For those of you who don’t recognize it, it’s inspired by Elsevier’s old printers mark, emblazoned in all of their texts since the 17th century: I hope the iconography of my image is self-explanatory.

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New bill in Congress would EXPAND federal public access policies!

A showdown is looming in Congress as defenders of the public interest have moved to counter the special interest sellout of the pending Research Works Act (RWA), which would end public access to the results of Federally funded research. A bipartisan group of legislators in both houses of  Congress just introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act […]

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