The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hereby directs each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government.This includes any results published in peer-reviewed scholarly publications that are based on research that directly arises from Federal funds, as defined in relevant OMB circulars (e.g., A-21and A-11). It is preferred that agencies work together, where appropriate, to develop these plans.
Over the past several years, a number of states have worked with organizations including the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to develop new standards for teaching science in public schools. The result, termed the Next Generation Science Standards, provides states with a chance to update their science education goals to focus more on the scientific process. So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.
But the process hasn’t always been smooth. In Kentucky, the Governor adopted them over the objections of state legislators. In Kansas, the adoption resulted in a lawsuit that sought to block their adoption. Now, in the latest wrinkle, the Wyoming legislature has preemptively blocked their use in that state.
The problem isn’t with the educational approach taken by the standards; rather, it’s with their content. The Next-Gen Standards include the modern understanding of evolution and climate science. The lawsuit mentioned above claims that the standards violate religious freedom by compelling students to study evolution.
Wyoming doesn’t appear to have issues with evolution. Instead, climate science appears to be the problem. That’s not because any of the legislators have actually studied the science involved and found it lacking. The issue appears to be solely with the implications of the science.
Fascinating turn in Wyoming. There are lawsuits of the content of science curricula?! Come on Wyomingites!! I work in all sorts of terribly governed countries, none of them - NOT ONE - has any issues with science. In fact, they embrace science with intense curiosity, hope, and energy.
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene is one of my favorite science journals. All articles are open-source - meaning they’re free - no registration or fees. They focus on environmental scientific research in an “era of accelerated human impact.” Humans have disturbed virtually every natural system on earth.
So, how do we share knowledge about scientific research? Currently, there’s a maturing debate about whether scientific research should be free or paid. I’m quite interested in this debate. Especially since my tax dollars pay for much of this research, but I don’t have access to it. In fact, most science is publicly funded by taxpayer dollars typically through universities and direct government grants. The balance of journals get their funds from subscriptions, which average about $5,000 per year. Yes, you can subscribe to Scientific American for $25, yet the annual ‘script for the Journal of Coordination Chemistry is $11,000!
When a researcher publishes their findings, scientific journals charge the public very high fees for access, which prevents the majority of the world from learning more.
I think this is reasonably indefensible.
One article from the journal Nature typically costs $20 to $30. One of my articles published with International Journal of Climate Change costs $10 (I share it for free with those that ask).
The debate is so powerful that The Guardian newspaper created a special section called Open Source Scientific Publishing. It focuses on the changing landscape of scientific publishing, and the debates make for fun, if not serious, reading.
And there is a protest movement by senior scientists to boycott some of the bigger scientific journals in favor of open source, free access publications. The University of California has also joined the fight, protesting these high fees.
Some have argued that science journals are more interested in selling subscriptions, where they favor “superstar” researchers who can capture more fees over less flashy researchers. Competition among science journals is a surprisingly ugly business.
So, should science be free? I think so.
For my part, I favor peer-reviewed, open-source science publication generally, and the journal Elementa specifically. Elementa is a non-profit publisher of science with overlap in my field of climate change and climate adaptation. The partners are BioOne, Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.
Take a minute to read what the editors of Elementa have to say about why open source science matters and why it should be free to everyone.
Earth and Environmental Science: John Geissman “I have never been a fan of huge for-profit publishers of science. Most have taxed the system in a very painful way. The more opportunities scientists have to publish their contributions in nonprofit journals, the better. Elementa provides a very important venue for scholars addressing a range of topics that are important to society, right now.”
Information is king in within the climate science community. Scientific information can help society cope with current climate variability, prevent deaths and disasters, and save communities a ton of money. The information can help limit the economic and social damages caused by climate-related disasters.
The best available climate science needs to be made readily available to people in agriculture, water, health, infrastructure, cities, and other sectors.
A bunch of very smart climate scientists got together to make climate science information easily accessible. They formed a group*, called the Climate Services Partnership, and recently held a major conference.
The presentations from this conference are now available online, and they are pretty amazing. You can download them, share with your colleagues, researchers, fellow students, etc.. Dive in (and bookmark) if you can!
Disney Network made 26 stops across Ohio with industry-funded group to promote oil and gas to students
Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Quebec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg’s historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists.
Looks like you’re taking some pretty serious classes. I’d round that list out with some history of architecture, drawing, advanced writing, and maybe a class focused on one of the great philosophers, like Plato (these will serve you through life, I assure you!).