Re: [ox-en] Re: Next successful Free Product?
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:28:03 +0100
Hi V. and all!
2 weeks (14 days) ago V Sasi Kumar wrote:
On Wed, 2005-10-05 at 18:35 [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Merten wrote:
Free Science has more to do with lack of money. One of the roots of
Free Science is the complaints of scientists that their results are
given to scientific magazines for nothing but the scientific community
has to buy back the results in form of the magazines using ever
increasing amounts of money. However, this lack of money is not at the
fundament of scientific activity which is still funded by states
and/or companies. Well, the lack of money for the expensive magazines
can be seen as a partial retreat of states / companies from funding
In the case of Free Science (Open Access),
@Karel: As already pointed out Open Access is the more common term.
However, in fact I think if talking in an Oekonux context Free Science
describes the phenomenon better.
I think what started it was
actually the lack of money. This was not, if I am not mistaken, just due
to the retreat of the state / companies from funding, but also because
of the huge increase in the prices of journals.
But if state / companies would have funded libraries sufficiently then
this would have not been a problem.
Consequently, there are
two ways in which this affects a scientist: 1) As a scientist, I am
unable to get all journals that publish papers in my subject, thus
reducing my access to developments in my subject;
I'll pick this up to show in which way Free Science is Free. The Free
access to all the material is a prerequisite for the overall success.
Only if I have access to all material which may be useful to my work I
can do useful work myself.
2) Fewer scientists
read my papers, thus reducing the impact of my work, which is important
But also important for science. At the time I worked in science I
always felt that those scientists who closely work together with an
open mind had a better chance to have useful results. In this way
working in an open way is a direct result of the (useful) work style
This is where I think the capitalized Free is applicable: Free access
is the prerequisite as well as a result of the process resulting in a
positive feedback cycle.
Here, the ideological aspect of making results from publicly
funded research work accessible to the public has been largely a
I'm not so sure about the ideological aspect in Free Software but I'd
agree that in Free Science it is probably smaller nonetheless. This
nicely fits in Oekonux theory that Free endeavors do *not* need
idelogy to function but are rooted in the direct interests of the
Science on the other hand lives to a large degree on the
Selbstentfaltung and freedom of the scientists. Many argue that even
Free Software is based on this idea seen first in science. Thus I'd
say that classical science already contains many aspects of Free
I think we need to take a close look at what drives modern scientific
research, or, rather, how do individual scientists decide on what
problem they are going to work. To what extent do they have the freedom
to choose. I have a feeling that, except in a few areas in basic
sciences (cosmology? particle physics?) there could be other factors
that restrict the freedom of the individual scientist. I hope I am
I guess you are more right than you like and you I perfectly agree
with you. In fact science is a stage where the old regime and the new
logic fight heavily. On the one hand there are states and companies
which are trying hard to valorize on scientific results and thus need
to destroy the basis of useful science as outlined above. On the other
hand there are the scientists which are mostly interested in the use
value of their work. IMHO this is indeed one of the most important
battlefields of our time. If someone asks "What can I do to further a
GPL society?" then this would be one area which I'd recommend looking
Mit Freien Grüßen
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