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Panton Fellowships: Apply Now!

Ross Mounce - June 12, 2013 in Featured, Open Science, WG Open Data in Science

The Open Knowledge Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the new Panton Fellowships!

CCIA

Funded this year by The Computer & Communications Industry Association, Panton Fellowships will be awarded to scientists who actively promote open data in science, as per the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science.

Visit the Panton Fellowships home page for more information including details of how to apply.

Further Details


We firmly believe that “open data means better science”. The Panton Fellowships have been created in order to support scientists – particularly graduate students and early-stage career scientists – to explore this idea, and to tackle those barriers which currently prevent science data from being made open.

Dr Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director at PLOS, and one of the Panton Fellowships Advisory Board, commented on the ‘real potential’ of the Fellowships to influence practice surrounding open data in the scientific community:

‘Panton Fellowships will allow those who are still deeply involved in research to think closely about the policy and technical issues surrounding open data.’

By allowing scientists the scope both to explore the ‘big picture’ – gathering evidence to promote discussion throughout the community – and also to work on specific technical solutions to individual problems, the Panton Fellowship scheme has the potential to make a real impact upon the practice of open data in science.

Panton Fellows will have the freedom to undertake a range of activities, and prospective applicants are encouraged to formulate their own work plan. As Fellows will continue to be employed and/or study at their current institution, activities undertaken for the Panton Fellowship should ideally complement and enhance their existing work.

Fellowships will be held for one year, and will have a value of £8k p.a. For more details and information on how to apply, please visit http://pantonprinciples.org/panton-fellowships/. Read about the work of our previous Panton Fellows; Sophie Kershaw here (PDF), and Ross Mounce here.

 

Open Knowledge may yet come to medicine – let’s help make it happen

Iain Hrynaszkiewicz - May 20, 2013 in Campaigning, Open Data, Open Science

Today is International Clinical Trials Day. To mark the event, here’s a post from Iain Hrynaszkiewicz reviewing the current state of open knowledge in medicine. You can see an earlier version on F1000’s blog.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the organisation which approves drug license applications from the pharmaceutical industry in Europe, has made important progress towards more open science. They hope to release anonymised data from drug trials online, but are faced with widely divided opinions on how data sharing should happen, as well as legal challenges in making it happen. The Open Knowledge community has a chance to help produce better outcomes for the beneficiaries of medical research.

On 30 April 2013 the EMA published advice documents, which cover five different aspects of clinical data sharing and are designed to help the EMA craft their policy on data release. The advice was sourced from around 200 volunteers from across the drug industry, academic research, publishing, and patient advocacy communities.
I’ll be the first point out this is not an open data policy – it’s a data sharing or data access policy. The EMA is, along with most medical research, a long way from implementing an Open Knowledge-compliant data policy – with data rapidly released in machine-readable formats to the public domain. But amongst the documents released there are some pertinent developments – worrying and promising in equal measures – that the open science community should recognise now.

Copyright and licenses

One suggestion in the EMA’s legal advisory group was that all data submitted to the EMA would be protected by copyright under the EU Database Directive. This seems unlikely, as it assumes all trial data are in a database. Data take many forms within and without databases. Whether copyright applies to data is a much debated issue depending on, amongst other things, the legal jurisdiction. However, Creative Commons CC0 was proposed to the EMA as possible solution to this problem. Data repositories Dryad and figshare were used as examples along with the journal F1000Research, which was the first journal to use the CC0 public domain dedication waiver for data it publishes.

Data formats and standards

Data standards breed efficiency – efficient reuse, sharing, understanding and computation. The advice to the EMA on data formats includes some promising recommendations. The advisory group was quick to recognise the importance of clinical data standards such as CDSIC and file formats that can be read with open source software. But to avoid delays in implementing the policy it seems likely that such standards will not be required and “any format shall be acceptable for all data until the policy is applied by stakeholders”. PDF, a format widely discouraged for data, was even recommended by some as a format for some types of data.

Many other issues were covered, and the documents are available with full version history.

Making more science data and research results available openly ultimately means faster progress in solving the most difficult problems facing the world. In medicine the benefits of doing more reliable science through open data are the most tangible. People’s health is improved. But much of the clinical research community are not even used to sharing or being able to share – publish – the reports of their work (papers in journals) let alone their raw data.

Publication bias, where positive trials are more frequently published than negative trials, has been found in more than 50 different treatments including widely prescribed antidepressants and anitvirals. A lack of available platforms is not the barrier. Many journals accept or encourage negative results – including F1000Research which just launched a fee waiver for negative results –and various repositories can accept negative data.

The EMA’s initiative comes at a time when there is unprecedented attention on access to information from medical research in the UK and EU. The UK Government’s Science and Technology Select Committee is reviewing large amounts of oral and written evidence on its recent inquiry on clinical trials. The Alltrials campaign for the reporting and registration of all trial results – an initiative of Sense About Science, BMJ and others and fronted by Dr Ben Goldacre – has amassed more than 50,000 signatures.

Medical research is finally moving, albeit slowly, to a new default of open. The open science and open knowledge community should support and guide the EMA and other interested parties in taking these important steps towards open data. And to mark International Clinical Trials Day, go sign the Alltrials petition! This is a real chance to change medical evidence for the better.

The White House Seeks Champions of Open Science

Ross Mounce - May 8, 2013 in Open Access, Open Science, WG Open Data in Science

Here at the Open Knowledge Foundation, we know Open Science is tough, but ultimately rewarding. It requires courage & leadership to take the open path in science.

Nearly a week ago on the open-science mailing list we started putting together a list of established scientists who have in some way or another made significant contributions to open science or lent their esteemed reputation to calls for increased openness in science. Our open list now has over 130 notable scientists, among whom 88 are Nobel prize winners.

In an interesting parallel development, the White House has just put out a call to help identify “Open Science” Champions of Change — outstanding individuals, organizations, or research projects promoting and using open scientific data for the benefit of society.

whitehouseOPENSCIENCE

Anyone can nominate an Open Science candidate for consideration by May 14, 2013.

What more proof do we need that open science is both good, and valued in society? This marks a tremendous validation of the open science movement. The US government is not seeking to reward any scientist; only open scientists actively working to change the world for the better will win this recognition.

We’re still a long way from Open Science being the norm in science. But perhaps now, we’re a crucial step closer to important widespread recognition that Open Science is good, and could be the norm in the future. We eagerly await the unveiling of the winning Open Science champions at the White House on the 20th June later this year.

Science Europe denounces ‘hybrid’ Open Access

Ross Mounce - May 2, 2013 in Open Access, Open Science, WG Open Data in Science

Recently Science Europe published a clear and concise position statement titled:
Principles on the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications

This is an extremely timely & important document that clarifies what governments and research funders should expect during the transition to open access. Unlike the recent US OSTP public access policy which allows publishers to apply up to a 12 month access embargo (to the disgust of some scientists like Michael Eisen) on publicly-funded research, this new Science Europe statement makes clear that only up to a 6 month embargo at maximum should be accepted for publicly funded STEM research. The recent RCUK (UK research councils) open access policy also requires 6 months embargo at most, with some caveats.

But among the many excellent principles is a particularly bold and welcome proclamation:

the hybrid model, as currently defined and implemented by publishers, is not a working and viable pathway to Open Access. Any model for transition to Open Access supported by Science Europe Member Organisations must prevent ‘double dipping’ and increase cost transparency

Hybrid options are typically far more expensive than ‘pure’ open access journal costs, and they don’t typically aid transparency or the wider transition to open access.

The Open Knowledge Foundation heartily endorses these principles as together with the above they respect, and reinforce the need for free access AND full re-use rights to scientific research.


About Science Europe:

Science Europe is an association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations, based in Brussels. At present Science Europe comprises 51 Research Funding and Research Performing Organisations from 26 countries, representing around €30 billion per annum.

Opening up the wisdom of crowds for science

Francois Grey - April 22, 2013 in Featured, News, Open Data, Open Science, Our Work, PyBossa, Releases

We are excited to announce the official launch of Crowdcrafting.org, an open source software platform – powered by our Pybossa technology – for developing and sharing projects that rely on the help of thousands of online volunteers.

crowdcrafting logo


At a workshop on Citizen Cyberscience held this week at
University of Geneva, a novel open source software platform called Crowdcrafting was officially launched. This platform, which already has attracted thousands
of participants during several months of testing, enables the rapid development of online citizen
science applications, by both amateur and professional scientists.


Applications already running on Crowdcrafting range from classifying images of magnetic
molecules to analyzing tweets about natural disasters. During the testing phase, some 50 new
applications have been created, with over 50 more under development. The Crowdcrafting
platform is hosted by University of Geneva, and is a joint initiative between the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Citizen
Cyberscience Centre
, a Geneva-based partnership co-founded by University of Geneva. The Sloan Foundation has recently awarded a grant to this joint initiative for
the further development of the Crowdcrafting platform.

Crowdcrafting fills a valuable niche in the broad spectrum of online citizen science. There are
already many citizen science projects that use online volunteers to achieve breakthrough results,

in fields as diverse as proteomics and astronomy. These projects often involve hundreds of
thousands of dedicated volunteers over many years. The objective of Crowdcrafting is to make
it quick and easy for professional scientists as well as amateurs to design and launch their own
online citizen science projects. This enables even relatively small projects to get started, which
may require the effort of just a hundred volunteers for only a few weeks. Such initiatives may be
small on the scale of most online social networks, but they still correspond to many man-years of
scientific effort achieved in a short time and at low cost.

“By emphasizing openness and simplicity, Crowdcrafting is lowering the threshold in investment
and expertise needed to develop online citizen science projects”
, says Guillemette Bolens,
Deputy Rector for Research at the University of Geneva. “As a result, dozens of projects are
under development, many of them in the digital humanities and data journalism, some of them
created by university students, others still by people outside of academia.”


An example occurred after the tropical storm that wreaked havoc in the Philippines late last
year. A volunteer initiative called Digital Humanitarian Network used Crowdcrafting to launch
a project called Philippines Typhoon. This enabled online volunteers to classify thousands
of tweets about the impact of the storm, in order to more rapidly filter information that could
be vital to first responders. “We are excited about how Crowdcrafting is assisting the digital
volunteer community worldwide in responding to natural disasters,”
says Francesco Pisano,
Director of Research at UNITAR.

“Crowdcrafting is also enabling the general public to contribute in a direct way to fundamental
science,”
says Gabriel Aeppli, Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), a joint
venture between UCL and Imperial College. A case in point is the project Feynman’s Flowers,
set up by researchers at LCN. In this project, volunteers use Crowdcrafting to measure the
orientation of magnetic molecules on a crystalline surface. This is part of a fundamental research effort aimed at creating novel nanoscale storage systems for the emerging field of quantum computing.

Commenting on the underlying technology, Rufus Pollock, founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said, “Crowdcrafting is powered by the open-source PyBossa software, developed by ourselves in collaboration with the Citizen Cyberscience Centre. Its aim is to make it quick and easy to do “crowdsourcing for good” – getting volunteers to help out with tasks such as image classification, transcription and geocoding in relation to scientific and humanitarian projects”. The Shuttleworth Foundation and the Open Society Foundations funded much of the early development work for this technology.

Francois Grey, coordinator of the Citizen Cyberscience Centre, says, “Our goal now, with
support from the Sloan Foundation, is to integrate other apps for data collection, processing
and storage, to make Crowdcrafting an open-source ecosystem for building a new generation of
browser-based citizen science projects.”

For further information about Crowdcrafting, see Crowdcrafting.org.

Panton Fellowship wrap up: Ross Mounce

Joris Pekel - April 16, 2013 in Featured, Open Science, WG Open Data in Science

 

The Panton Fellowships have come to an end. The work that our two Panton Fellows, Ross Mounce and Sophie Kershaw have done over the past year to promote openness in the sciences has far surpassed what any of us expected. Here Ross details his wide-ranging experiences and achievements over the past year, and you can read Sophie’s report on the last year here.

So… it’s over.

For the past twelve months I was immensely proud to be one of the first Open Knowledge Foundation Panton Fellows, but that has now come to an end. In this post I will try and recap my activities and achievements during the fellowship.

okfhelsinki

The broad goals of the fellowship were to:

  • Promote the concept of open data in all areas of science
  • Explore practical solutions for making data open
  • Facilitate discussions surrounding the role and value of openness
  • Catalyse the open community, and reach out beyond its traditional core

and I’m pleased to say that I think I achieved all four of these goals with varying levels of success.

 

Achievements:

Outreach & Promotion – I went to a lot of conferences, workshops and meetings during my time as a Panton Fellow to help get the message out there. These included:

Conferences

At all of these I made clear my views on open data and open access, and ways in which we could improve scientific communication using these guiding principles. Indeed I was more than just a participant at all of these conferences – I was on stage at some point for all, whether it was arguing for richer PDF metadata, discussing data re-use on a panel or discussing AMI2 and how to liberate open phylogenetic data from PDFs.

One thing I’ve learnt during my fellowship is that just academic-to-academic communication isn’t enough. In order to change the system effectively, we’ve got to convince other stakeholders too, such as librarians, research funders and policy makers. Hence I’ve been very busy lately attending more broader policy-centred events like the Westminster Higher Education Forum on Open Access & the Open Access Royal Society workshop & the Institute of Historical Research Open Access colloquium.

Again, here in the policy-space my influence has been international not just domestic. For example, my trips to Brussels, both for the Narratives as a Communication Tool for Scientists workshop (which may help shape the direction of future FP8 funding), and the ongoing Licences For Europe: Text and Data Mining stakeholder dialogue have had real impact. My presentation about content mining for the latter has garnered nearly 1000 views on slideshare and the debate as a whole has been featured in widely-read news outlets such as Nature News. Indeed I’ve seemingly become a spokesperson for certain issues in open science now. Just this year alone I’ve been asked for comments on ‘open’ matters in three different Nature features; on licencing, text mining, and open access from an early career researcher point-of-view – I don’t see many other UK PhD students being so widely quoted!

Another notable event I was particularly proud of speaking at and contributing to was the Revaluing Science in the Digital Age invite-only workshop organised jointly by the International Council for Science & Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, September 2012. The splendour was not just in the location, but also the attendees too – an exciting, influential bunch of people who can actually make things happen. The only downside of such high-level international policy is the glacial pace of action – I’m told, arising from this meeting and subsequent contributions, a final policy paper for approval by the General Assembly of ICSU will likely only be circulated in 2014 at the earliest!

 

helsinkiTALK

The most exciting outreach I did for the fellowship were the ‘general public’ opportunities that I seized to get the message out to people beyond the ‘ivory towers’ of academia. One such event was the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki, September 2012 (pictured above). Another was my participation in a radio show broadcast on Voice of Russia UK radio with Timothy Gowers, Bjorn Brembs, and Rita Gardner explaining the benefits and motivation behind the recent policy shift to open access in the UK. This radio show gave me the confidence & experience I needed for the even bigger opportunity that was to come next – at very short notice I was invited to speak on a live radio debate show on open access for BBC Radio 3 with other panellists including Dame Janet Finch & David Willetts MP! An interesting sidenote is that this opportunity may not have arisen if I hadn’t given my talk about the Open Knowledge Foundation at a relatively small conference; Progressive Palaeontology in Cambridge earlier that year – it pays to network when given the opportunity!

 

Outputs

The fellowship may be over, but the work has only just begun!

I have gained significant momentum and contacts in many areas thanks to this Panton Fellowship. Workshop and speaking invites continue to roll in, e.g. next week I shall be in Berlin at the Making Data Count workshop, then later on in the month I’ll be speaking at the London Information & Knowledge Exchange monthly meet and the ‘Open Data – Better Society’ meeting (Edinburgh).

Even completely independent of my activism, the new generation of researchers in my field are discovering for themselves the need for Open Data in science. The seeds for change have definitely been sown. Attitudes, policies, positions and ‘defaults’ in academia are changing. For my part I will continue to try and do my bit to help this in the right direction; towards intelligent openness in all its forms.

What Next?

I’m going to continue working closely with the Open Knowledge Foundation as and when I can. Indeed for 6 months starting this January I agreed to be the OKF Community Coordinator, Open Science before my postdoc starts. Then when I’ve submitted my thesis (hopefully that’ll go okay), I’ll continue on in full-time academic research with funding from a BBSRC grant I co-wrote partially out in Helsinki(!) at the Open Knowledge Festival with Peter Murray-Rust & Matthew Wills, that has subsequently been approved for funding. This grant proposal which I’ll blog further about at a later date, comes as a very direct result of the content mining work I’ve been doing with Peter Murray-Rust for this fellowship using AMI2 tools to liberate open data. Needless to say I’m very excited about this future work… but first things first I must complete and submit my doctoral thesis!

Data Explorer Mission on Carbon Data

Vanessa Gennarelli - April 11, 2013 in Open Science, School of Data, WG Sustainability

Sign up now for next week’s Data Explorer Mission on Carbon Emissions Data, a pilot initiative of our School of Data and P2PU, to help people explore a topic, while at the same time building their data skills through experimentation and doing.

8364602336_facaa10cdf_oImage CC-By-SA J Brew on Flickr

At the School of Data, we teach in two ways.

1) By producing materials to help people tackle working with data and
2) By running Data Expeditions – where learners tackle a problem, answer a question or work on a project together, learning from one another as they get hands on with real data.

It’s come to our attention, that sometimes, it’s handy to combine the two – handing people materials to tackle the challenges they are likely to encounter along the way. The Data Explorer Mission is like a data expedition with one crucial difference: your guide is a robot…

Read on to learn more…

Your Mission: Tell Stories with Carbon Data

Learn how to tinker with, refine and tell a story with data in this 4-week course. Each week you’ll be commissioned to work with others on a project that will hone your data-wrangling skills. Lessons will be pulled from Open Knowledge Foundation and Tactical Tech with help from Peer 2 Peer University. At the end of the course, you will have finessed, wrangled, cleaned and visualized a data set and shared it with the world.

What to Expect

The course will run April 15 to May 3, and each week your team will receive weekly “Missions” from Mission Control over email. You’ll work together on those projects, including a 30-minute Google Hangout each week. Each “Mission” will lead up to your final project. For each skill you master in the course, you can earn a Badge to show your mastery and to get feedback to further your talents.

The Topic

Carbon Emissions. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about them at the moment, you don’t need to be a topic expert and the data skills you will learn will be very transferrable to other areas!

The Level

No prior experience is required, we’ll cover spreadsheets and working with data. If you’re more advanced, you are also welcome to join us to hone your skills, and the only limit on what you can learn is your imagination – so if you’re prepared to push yourselves on the project front the data-skills-bucket is your oyster!

About Mission Control

Normally – Data Expeditions are guided by a human sherpa, in this course, we’re weaving School of Data course material with a robot sherpa to help guide participants through the phases of the expedition. You’ll need to listen out for Mission Control’s instructions to guide you through the phases, keep timing and look out for handy tips, but organising your team is up to your group…

Sign up by completing the form below!

Open Research Data Handbook – Call for case Studies

Velichka Dimitrova - April 9, 2013 in Featured, OKF Projects, Open Access, Open Science

The OKF Open Research Data Handbook – a collaborative and volunteer-led guide to Open Research Data practices – is beginning to take shape and we need you! We’re looking for case studies showing benefits from open research data: either researchers who have personal stories to share or people with relevant expertise willing to write short sections.

Designed to provide an introduction to open research data, we’re looking to develop a resource that will explain what open research data actually is, the benefits of opening up research data, as well as the processes and tools which researchers need to do so, giving examples from different academic disciplines.

Leading on from a couple of sprints, a few of us are in the process of collating the first few chapters, and we’ll be asking for comment on these soon.

In the meantime, please provide us with case studies to include, or let us know if you are willing to contribute areas of expertise to this handbook.

i want you

We now need your help to gather concrete case studies which detail your experiences of working with Open Research Data. Specifically, we are looking for:

  • Stories of the benefits you have seen as a result of open research data practices
  • Challenges you have faced in open research, and how you overcame them
  • Case studies of tools you have used to share research data or to make it openly available
  • Examples of how failing to follow open research practices has hindered the progress of science, economics, social science, etc.
  • … More ideas from you!

Case studies should be around 200-500 words long. They should be concrete, based on real experiences, and should focus on one specific angle of open research data (you can submit more than one study!).

Please fill out the following form in order to submit a case study:

Link to form

If you have any questions, please contact us on researchhandbook [at] okfn.org

Will Obama’s new $100m brain mapping project be open access?

Jonathan Gray - April 4, 2013 in Open Access, Open Science, Policy

On Tuesday President Obama unveiled a new $100 million research initiative to map the human brain.

The BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative will “accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought”.

As well as trying to vastly improve scientific understanding of “the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears”, it is hoped that this research will enable new forms of prevention and treatment for conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and epilepsy.

In his speech, Obama made several comparisons between the BRAIN initiative and the Human Genome Project, an initiative which saw
unprecedented international collaboration and data sharing between research centres around the world to map the tens of thousands of genes of the human genome. Dr Francis Collins, who led the Human Genome Project and is the current Director of the National Institutes of Health, spoke alongside Obama at the announcement.

While there has been no explicit announcement about whether or not the BRAIN initiative will be open access (and while there are obviously difficult ethical and privacy issues in this field), we hope that it will follow in the footsteps of the Human Genome Project’s pioneering approach to data sharing – which saw data being placed into the public domain by default, without restrictions on its use and redistribution. This helped to minimise duplication, maximise synergy and ultimately to accelerate the pace of research in this area.

There was a rival initiative to the Human Genome Project from a private company called Celera, which aimed to create its own subscription database of the human genome, and to patent over 300 genes. Martin Bobrow, a representative for the Human Genome Project, later said: “Celera’s requirements seemed to amount to them establishing an effective monopoly over the human genome.” If they had succeeded the consequences to scientific research and innovation in this area could have been devastating.

With its mixture of public and private investment and public and private research organisations, all with different interests and different approaches to sharing, there is a danger that Obama’s new brain mapping initiative could fracture into silos of separate researchers and groups, duplicating work, competing against each other and claiming exclusive control and commercialisation over the fruits of their research.

Given the strong focus on US innovation in President Obama’s speech, it is also not clear how the initiative will collaborate with other initiatives such as the European Commission’s recently announced €1 billion Human Brain Project, which looks to have at least some overlapping aims and goals to Obama’s new initiative.

While the EC will be requiring open access to research funded by their Horizon 2020 programme, it is not yet clear whether the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)’s recent announcement in support of open access will apply to the BRAIN initiative.

We hope that President Obama’s new brain mapping initiatives will adopt a strong and principled commitment to open access and international collaboration, so that the world can benefit from accelerated and more impactful research around mapping the human brain in the same way that it has with the human genome.

If you’re interested in following our work in this area, you can join our open-science discussion list by filling in your details in the form below:






Landmark ruling will enable more lifesaving generic drugs in developing countries

Jonathan Gray - April 3, 2013 in Open Access, Open Science

Earlier this week the Guardian and the BBC reported on a landmark ruling in India which will hopefully pave the way for greater access to lifesaving generic drugs in developing countries.

The Indian supreme court has rejected a new patent on a “slightly altered” version of Glivec, a cancer treatment drug developed by the pharmaceutical company Novartis. They concluded that the Novartis’s changes were an attempt at ‘evergreening’, making small changes in order to gain a new patent.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said that the ruling will “save a lot of lives across the developing world”, and the Cancer Patients Aid Association in India (CPAA) said it is “a huge victory for human rights”.

The ruling highlights the importance of addressing the profound imbalance in the way that potentially life-saving knowledge is shared. We need laws, policies and practises that recognise the value of sharing and collaboration around critical information, rather than focusing exclusively on protection and compensation.

Dr Unni Karunakara, the International President of Médecins Sans Frontières said:

At the moment medical innovation is financed through high drug prices backed up by patent monopolies, at the expense of patients and governments in developing countries who cannot afford those prices. Instead of seeking to abuse the patent system by bending the rules and claiming ever longer patent protection on older medicines, the pharmaceutical industry should focus on real innovation, and governments should develop a framework that allows for medicines to be developed in a way that also allows for affordable access.

As the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Advisory Board Member Glyn Moody wrote in TechDirt:

The fact that many key drugs have only been possible thanks to [..] “vital investments made by the public sector” is nearly always overlooked by defenders of the pharma patent system. It’s another reason why the Indian Supreme Court’s decision is not only right, but just.

As well as fairer, more balanced laws and policies supporting the development of life-saving generic drugs in developing countries, we want to see more open access to the results of medical research – especially that which is publicly funded.

As we wrote about a few weeks ago, we think a major part of this will be an open database of clinical trials to give doctors, patients and researchers access to information about the results and methods of trials related to the drugs that they research, prescribe and take.

If you’re interested in following our work in this area, you can join our open-science discussion list by filling in your details in the form below:






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