Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Monbiot Says

As you know, I've been screaming myself hoarse about it for years:

Distrust has been multiplied by the publishers of scientific journals, whose monopolistic practices make the supermarkets look like angels, and which are long overdue for a referral to the Competition Commission. They pay nothing for most of the material they publish, yet, unless you are attached to an academic institute, they'll charge you £20 or more for access to a single article. In some cases they charge libraries tens of thousands for an annual subscription. If scientists want people at least to try to understand their work, they should raise a full-scale revolt against the journals that publish them. It is no longer acceptable for the guardians of knowledge to behave like 19th-century gamekeepers, chasing the proles out of the grand estates.

Sing it, George. He has a good deal else to say of value here as well.

1 comment:

C. Corax said...

Good article and lots to think about.

I agree that much of what's written in scholarly articles may as well be written in Lithuanian for all that I can understand it. But I recognize that my ignorance doesn't mean the science is bad, which seems to be the view of climate change deniers and anti-vax kooks.

Better science education would help. The public school system I went to was supposed to be excellent, but when I speak to folks who went to private school, I"m always astonished by how much more they were taught.

And it is a shame that we have to rely on a corporate and ignorant media to provide the only venue for public discussions of these issues. (Okay, now we have blogs, but I doubt they reach as many epople as do the networks or cable channels). Reporting on science tends to be simplistic to the point of being wrong.