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Nature, Cell and Science are called to account and open access journals gain ground

randy schekmanOn the same day that it was reported that publisher Reed Elzevier seems to be losing its way, US biologist Randy Schekman, a Nobel prize-winner, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Writing in the Guardian, he said, “Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals.”

Schekman is the editor of eLife, an open-access online journal set up by the Wellcome Trust. Articles submitted to the journal – a competitor to Nature, Cell and Science – are discussed by reviewers who are working scientists and accepted if all agree. The papers are free for anyone to read.

Sebastian Springer, a biochemist at Jacobs University in Bremen, who worked with Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley, said “The system is not meritocratic. You don’t necessarily see the best papers published in those journals. The editors are not professional scientists, they are journalists which isn’t necessarily the greatest problem, but they emphasise novelty over solid work”.

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Mohan comments, in The Hindu:

”Dr. Schekman makes a valid criticism of how these established journals makes it a expensive, exclusive club that’s unreachable for most real scientists. Just like him, we have also started fully peer-reviewed open access journals (jscimedcentral.com) earlier this year that offers FREE publishing to over 80 countries in Asia and Africa and nominal fee for researchers from rest of the world. We have already published over 100 articles.

“Great to see a Nobel laureate openly taking on establishment that muddles real scientific research by making it nearly impossible for the next young Einstein or Tesla with no fancy research budget to shell out, to be able to publish their ground breaking research”.

(Ed: see in http://www.jscimedcentral.com/aboutus.php an impressive list of peer-reviewed open-access journals)

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Is American aggression now centred on IT-informed commerce and industry?

Will future military action be confined to relatively inexpensive drone strikes?

Indian official quoted in the Hindu: “If the American intelligence agencies and business corporations are hunting in pairs, we are bound to lose”The Hindu According to a top secret document disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by The Hindu, the PRISM programme has been deployed by the American agency to gather key information from India by tapping directly into the servers of tech giants which provide services such as email, video sharing, file transfer and social networking services.

The document also records that NSA collected data about subjects ranging from oil to WTO to government policies from several Asian, African and Latin American countries, making it clear that the American spying was focused on commercial and business areas, and not on its stated objective of national security.

America uncovered – endangering food safety, access to medicines and national sovereignty?

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A few days ago David Pilling and Shawn Donnan noted in the Financial Times that some suspect American goals are geopolitical as much as commercial. In an article focussing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it was said that opponents see TPP as a “giant corporate power grab” that would endanger food safety, access to medicines and national sovereignty.

They record that China’s official media have said that the TPP process involves the US in “corralling Pacific nations against Beijing’s interests”, adding that Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, argues that the US, through its parallel free-trade talks with Europe, “is trying to block off the two biggest areas of global gross domestic product from what Washington considers its main rival”.

Initiatives by the Masters of the World, groundwork done by their lobbyists

Not just a game

Not just a game

America has initiated an EU-US trade deal and both negotiations exclude the people of the states involved. As a comment on the FT article says: “Most of this has been negotiated behind closed doors, including excluding politicians from member states from participating in discussions, and by all accounts Obama wants to further restrict access and opportunity for politicians (who theoretically represent the people) from having input”.

According to Josh Wise, writing in Minnesota’s ‘Star Tribune, theseso-called “free-trade agreements” are going to continue to be a tool for multinational corporations to further deregulate themselves and hamstring local governments and communities in protecting their quality of life”.

He ends, ”Until we can break the corporate stranglehold on trade treaty negotiations, then regardless of who is in the White House or Congress, these deals are only going to continue the global race to the bottom for wages, the environment and consumers”.

The Hindu believes that the flattering rhetoric of close strategic partnerships has been ‘busted’ – will other nations ‘get wise’ and look at actions ‘on the ground’ and their consequences?

Sources

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nsa-targets-indian-politics-space-nprogrammes/article5161299.ece
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29
 
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8c253c5c-2056-11e3-b8c6-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2fnADtwRK
 
http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/204582681.html?refer=y
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Owen Paterson, Peter Kendall and David Cameron please note political support for farmers who tell Monsanto “You have quit Europe, now quit India”

Thanks to EN who sent an email message drawing our attention to this article in The Hindu, text reproduced by GM Watch, leading to a search and another account on Via Campesina’s website.

A delegation of farmers and activists of the Coalition for GM-Free India, presented a national flag made of non-GM cotton to the Minister of State V. Narayanasamy for the prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to unfurl at the Red Fort on Independence Day, August 15th. Gargi Parsai reported in The Hindu:

“A report of the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Experts Committee on GMOs recently recommended that there should not be any field trials of GM crops until gaps in the regulatory system are addressed. The panel suggested early risk assessment and emphasised need for chronic and trans-generational toxicity testing of GM products on humans, livestock, environment and biodiversity . . .

“Cutting across party lines, Members of Parliament joined the sit-in to express their solidarity with the coalition of about 250 civil society and farmers groups. BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi and Dharmendar Pradhan (members of the Agriculture Standing Committee); DMK MPs, including T.K.S. Elangovan, T.M. Selvaganapathi, K.P. Ramalingam, A.K.S. Vijayan and S. Thangavelu; and MDMK’s A. Ganesamurthi expressed their support and assured farmers that they would take up the issue in Parliament.

Via Campesina ends:

“Recently Monsanto has suffered a blow after last years moratorium on its Bt brinjal. India’s National Biodiversity Board has sued Monsanto over charges of biopiracy- for using at least 10 local varieties without permission, flouting a requirement under the National Biodiversity Act. India is a signatory to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, and along with the National Biodiversity Act has sovereign rights over its biological resources.

“India’s farmers have welcomed this move by the Indian government. They have resolved to resist Monsanto until it finally quits eyeing our food and farming systems and leaves India and the world for good”.