Advice for the California stem cell agency

See: High Priests vs. Open Access to Research, David Jensen, California Stem Cell Report, November 05, 2007. Excerpts:

The high priests of the newspaper business – otherwise known as editors and publishers — have learned about the power of the Internet the hard way. Their business is turning remorselessly downward as advertisers shift their dollars to chase readers who have abandoned print.

Now comes the turn of the high priests of scientific journals. And the forces at work are something that the California stem cell agency will have to confront as it deals increasingly with public access to publicly funded research findings and how quickly that access becomes available.

The Internet is like a tidal force. Resisting its imperative may appear to be possible in the short term, but over the long term the high priests will be sweep out to sea. The alternative is come up with a better business plan and to find a way to ride the tide instead fighting it.

Intransigent high priests? Or, inadvertently playing the role of King Canute, who “used his evident inability to order the tide to roll back to display to his courtiers the limitations of a king’s power to command the seas“?

For another source of news about the “science, ethics, business and politics of stem cell research“, see The Stem Cell blog.


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