Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The state-socialist model: The public puts up the capital and takes the risk but if the enterprise succeeds the profits are private

The government awards grants to think-tanks, companies, foundations, and universities to undertake research. However the published results of these studies oftentimes end up behind the pay-wall of a privately held for-profit company. Some are beginning to challenge that by boycotting the principal profiteer of this style of the "public pays for but private companies profit from" model.

" 'The government pays me and other scientists to produce work,' say this piece in the Chronicle of High Education, 'and we give it away to private entities,' says Brett S. Abrahams, an assistant professor of genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 'Then they charge us to read it.' Mr. Abrahams signed the pledge on Tuesday after reading about it on Facebook."

That may all be about to change though. Some of the people doing the research are threatening to boycott Elsevier publishing company, a major player in this scheme and thereby cutting off the oxygen that this scam needs to live. Heh.