Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Next Scientific Revolution?

With the advent of Science Commons (see the popsci.com article) and cool new tools available at Nature like its Precedings, opportunities to share research outside for-profit business models (i.e. journals) are starting to gain momentum. Systems like Neurocommons allow for a redrawing of money tranfer trajectories around and within publishing firms such that everyone can play nice in the sandbox. Medical research sells no matter how you redraw the lines or rebuild the castle. But, I wonder if the discussions around these "revolutions" have attempted to include pure research whose business model is based entirely on public funds and funding institutions that receive their monies from government pots? How do you sell Science Commons to mathematicians, theoretical physicists, systematists, ecologists, among other scientists whose research is not closely tied to big bucks pharmaceutical companies and a Gates Foundation? Repositories like iBridge are useful for niche markets and interests, but I'd hardly call them revolutionary for all of science. If proponents of the Semantic Web want to sell their ideas, I'd like to see buy-in by one tenured ecologist & then some demonstrable evidence for how this will accelerate his/her research.

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