Wed, 06 Aug 2003 17:06:13 GMT

Lincoln Caplan, Censoring Science, LegalAffairs, J …. Lincoln Caplan, Censoring Science, LegalAffairs, July/August 2003. Excerpt: “The Bush Administration is treating American universities as if they can't be trusted to make their own judgments about restricting sensitive information, but the responsibility of balancing security and openness isn't a new one for academics. Ever since the Manhattan Project, centers of research have been required to weigh the interests of science and of national security cautiously and work with the government to guard both. Before September 11, the government had respected the vigilance of universities by establishing what scientists call 'high walls' around only 'narrow areas' of research. Since then, the Administration has recalibrated the balance between security and liberty in this country, shifting the fulcrum in favor of security. But the lesson of SARS is that global security depends on allowing scientists to benefit from a free flow of ideas and from the easy cooperation of experts from home and abroad. After all, had the Chinese government not restricted the free flow of information within its borders, SARS might have been contained long before it became a global problem. Keeping secrets shouldn't be contagious.” [Open Access News]

Governments should not control research they should just sponsor it, but as you look around the world, more and more, ideological governments are pushing their own scientific agenda and limits, enforcing controls and reducing disemination, etc. this is not going to be a good thing in the long run.