Leaks, hacks and science - science-in-society - 06 December 2011 - New Scientist
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"The words "science" and "censorship" do not sit easily together. And yet over the past decade, science has come to occupy an increasingly important role in debates over free speech....Not surprisingly there are debates about the proper course of action. Our special issue [of New Scientist] explores two opposing views. Fred Pearce, the leading chronicler of climategate, makes the argument for open access for the benefit of science and public discourse. Michael Halpern of the US Union of Concerned Scientists warns about freedom of information being deployed as a form of harassment....However, even if an exemption is included in the bill, the combination of hackers, leakers and the sheer momentum of the open-access movement is likely to limit its scope, particularly for politically sensitive research. The leak of a further 5000 climategate emails last week is a case in point. So there may be no other choice but to embrace full transparency....Reform that makes it less easy to use the law as a tool of intimidation and that introduces a robust public interest defence will be of critical importance for the future open discussion of issues of scientific concern...."