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Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality



Blanc <[email protected]> writes:
> Initially your argument had to do with secrecy and the need for scientists
> to publish their work so that the scientific community may benefit from it.

Not just the scientific community... everyone. If an art critic declines
to publish something, its a loss probably only to his fellow art critics,
but if a mathematician or a biologist or a physicist doesn't publish, it's
a loss for more than just his colleagues.

>   I can't disagree that if a scientist is working for the public, that they
> should make their work publically available to them, since, after all, they
> are supposedly working for the public benefit.

I assume most of the research results from NIH or NIMH are publicly
available.  Unfortunatey, none of the stuff done at NSA gets published.
Of course NSA today is nothing like the NSA in the past. We're not
missing much by not seeing whatever inept drivel is produced by
Clinton's affirmativr action appointees.  Phooey.

> But you also said that "a key aspect of SCIENCE is publishing".    I was
> only pointing out that, in the context of those who are working for their
> own purposes and not under the employment of a government agency, some
> scientists are not overly concerned about contributing to this advancement,
> as can be observed by their reluctance to publish (even if they eventually
> do, "under the extreme pressure of friends", for instance).

Perhaps they would publish if there were an economic incentive to.

> I think you should distinguish between those scientistis who have joined
> some kind of "scientific community" and have established an obligation to
> share the results of their work with that group, and those scientists who
> are what they are, and do what they do, from motivations unrelated to such
> communities.

Instead of thinking in terms obligations, think of economic incentives.

---

<a href="mailto:[email protected]">Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM</a>
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps