20 July 2006

Bill Gates Wants to Share "Openly"

It looks like Bill Gates is one step closer to getting it. According to this press release from his foundation, regarding a major research grant to create a series of research consortia to accelerate HIV vaccine development:

These consortia will be linked to five central laboratories and data analysis facilities, enabling investigators to openly share data and compare results, and allowing the most promising vaccine approaches to be quickly prioritized for further development.


As a condition for receiving funding, the newly-funded vaccine discovery consortia have agreed to use the central facilities to test vaccine candidates, share information with other investigators, and compare results using standardized benchmarks.

In other words, Gates is demanding open data sharing, and maybe open access too (it's not clear yet, as Peter Suber notes).

But this is a slippery slope, Bill: once you accept the inherent efficiency of sharing data "openly", as the press release emphasises, it's only a short conceptual leap before you find yourself accepting and then encouraging the other ways of sharing stuff "openly"....

No comments: