19 February 2008

Monopoly in the DNA

It seems that Bill Gates' foundation is affected with the same love of monopolies and keeping things closed as its creator:

The chief of the malaria program at the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the health agency's policy-making function.

In a memorandum, the chief of the malaria program, Arata Kochi, complained to his boss, Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO, that the foundation's money, while crucial, could have "far-reaching, largely unintended consequences."

Many of the world's leading malaria scientists are now "locked up in a 'cartel' with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group," Kochi wrote. Because "each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others," he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals "is becoming increasingly difficult."

Amazing: exactly the same dynamics seem to be operating here for research as for software. Must be something in the DNA. (Via Slashdot.)

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