Science advances through its publications. To make the most of scientific progress, then, findings should be free, open, and objective. But in practice, the field aims at profit, with a publishing industry dependent on reaping profit from scientific progress. Only a handful of dominant publishers have come together as an oligopoly to control the market with limited input from scientists — and no democratic control from the society.
And now, an additional hurdle for scientific progress is coming from seemingly unrelated legislation. The EU wants to introduce new copyright laws, despite their ongoing public controversies (see here and here). Our clicks on social media already generate unthinkable profit; the new legislation not only legalizes this practice, but also extends it. Scientific publications are equally ensnared by the proposed laws. Objectivity and sound scientific research will be officially replaced by visibility, commercialization and marketing so that publishers’ profits can skyrocket. As in gene therapy, publicly-funded science has become a publishers’ gold mine.
At DiEM25 we resist the capitalization of public goods and fight for a transparent and democratic Europe. Scientific advancements, especially those developed with public funds, should be available for all people. We all need to speak up, scientists too! Start by joining us here.
Aris is a member and volunteer of the DiEM25 movement.
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