The Ownership of Science

There have been occasions where we have examined the use of science, between their science and our science, and how the interpretations of facts are the important factor. Now we need to ride up yonder hill and look back for an even bigger picture. That is, who owns science itself?

The "open access" movement to make science available to all raises many issues to be answered.
Credit: CSIRO / Frank Filippi (CC BY 3.0)
This raises many questions and "on the other hand" thoughts. People who do the research and produce valid papers (there is now considerable doubt that papers are useful) deserve to be paid. Does the public have the right to access the papers, especially if our taxes paid for the research? The secular science industry makes this very expensive in many cases, although hackers can still get in. Other people can look at summaries and abstracts, which make promises that may not be fulfilled in the content. 

Some creationist organizations have peer-reviewed journals that are only accessible to members, with some articles available on the web. Another option used is to hold the articles for a year (to be fair to subscribers), and then publishing them on the web.

Some secular science organizations are producing open access papers, out of the belief that science belongs to everybody. (Is it just me, or does that idea sound a bit socialist?) Open access brings up questions of quality control and theft of ideas; I've seen papers behind paywalls that were reproduced on other sites, and I wondered if I was seeing copyright infringement or something. Options for making science material are being considered, but there's a passel of details to be hashed out.
Journal editors are freaking out over the rise of Open Science initiatives, worried their reign over the perception of science is doomed.
Who owns science? In the old days, scientists were self-funded or supported by patrons. Nowadays, much of science is funded by governments. And yet the results of the research remain largely behind paywalls: journals that require subscription fees often beyond the reach of the common man. Universities and labs can afford site licenses that allow all or most employees of the institutions instant access to the latest published research. But again, citizens outside of those institutions stay outside the paywall. They only get open access to internet-based science news services (EurekAlert, Science Daily, which dish out predigested summaries of findings – and then, only after embargo dates expire. Often, however, those summaries are tainted with bias to make the researcher’s institution look good.
To read the rest, click on "Who Owns Science, Anyway?"