Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Do the members of ACS know?

Folks at Slashdot have been discussing this:

... the American Chemical Society has launched a new effort against perceived competitors. They are attempting to limit the government's ability to freely publish the results of scientific work paid for by tax dollars. The British journal Nature and the Univeristy of California reports on efforts by the ACS in attempting to shutdown a free database, PubChem, of molecular structures because it competes head to head with the fee-for-service Chemical Abstract Service. Their rationale is that the government should not spend taxpayer dollars on something private business is already doing. Luckily the government has not backed down.

The discussion is an incendiary mix (you wouldn't expect anything else when the topic is chemistry, would you?) of science, government, politics, non-profit vs. for-profit, libertarianism, ..., the works!


  1. Anonymous said...

    Pretty hypocritical, since a lot of ACS members were kvetching about Elsevier’s business practices back when I was in grad school. There was a similar grab at Federal data sponsored by that RINO Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. AccuWeather, one of the largest private forecasting services, was trying to shut down the free weather reports (via shortwave and Internet ) that the National Weather Service puts out – they wanted to be the only outlet for that data, which tax dollars already paid for. Boaters, pilots and hikers / campers rely on that data, so we were pretty upset.