Blog archive for October, 2009

Nguyen on ‘hidden legal barriers’ to research

October 22nd, 2009 by Kaitlin Thaney

The latest edition of Genomics Law Report features a guest commentary on the roadblocks to knowledge sharing and scientific research, penned by Science Commons Counsel Thinh Nguyen. The report is a publication out of the law firm Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson.

In the commentary, “The Hidden Legal Barriers to Scientific Research”, Nguyen details some of the lesser discussed hurdles to scientific research, from materials transfer agreements to the legal implications surrounding the sharing of data and interoperability.

He writes:

“The increasing extent to which legal formalities, and thus lawyers, intermediate scientific sharing, not only between academia and industry but increasingly between academics themselves, represents a cultural sea-change with important consequences for how science is conducted in the future. The public and unrestricted availability of genomic databases and resources, or the “commons”, must be cultivated and defended, through a robust community consensus, or it can easily fragment into legally constructed “walled gardens” without public right of way.”

Well said.

For more writing on barriers to scientific research, visit our Reading Room and check out Nguyen’s “Freedom to Research”.

Wilbanks named one of Utne Reader’s 50 visionaries

October 20th, 2009 by Kaitlin Thaney

John Wilbanks, VP of Science at Creative Commons, has been named one of Utne Reader’s 50 visionaries, along with others ranging from the Dalai Lama, to Cory Doctorow and Brewster Kahle.

The piece, “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”, is the second of its kind coming from Utne Reader, an alternative news bi-monthly magazine based in the US. The list also drills down into some of the background on each of the “visionaries” — in this case crediting the work at Science Commons as pushing forth a “nerdy but important message” of access and sharing in the sciences to spur innovation and discovery.

“We have a network of knowledge,” Wilbanks says. “We need to liberate it enough that it can actually take off.”

To learn more about the other visionaries, click here.