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Free Knowledge and Access to Information

Author Michael Eisen
Track Free Knowledge and Access to Information
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the author
Michael Eisen is currently assistant professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley. His academic research focuses on the evolution of gene regulation.

Throughout his career he has been a forceful advocate for open science - the free release of the material and intellectual product of the scientific research. He is a leading advocate of open access scientific publishing, and is co-Founder of Public Library of Science (PLoS). He serves on the PLoS board, and is an advisor to Science Commons.

I will talk about the "open access" movement in scientific publishing that is working to make the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. Anyone who has tried to look for scientific or medical information on the Internet will find all sorts of information - some credible and some quackish. But, unless you are logged on from a major research university, you will find that the most reliable and comprehensive source of scientific and medical knowledge is locked behind subscription-controlled barriers of scientific publishers.

I will talk about why things work this way, why it's ridiculous, and how the system can and is being changed by organizations like Public Library of Science (which I helped to found). I will also talk about how scientists and scientific journals are starting to head down a wikipedia like path, and why this is a challenge for scientists and our institutions.

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