Thursday, February 23. 2017
Re: Copyright: the immoveable barrier that open access advocates underestimated (Richard Poynder)
1. Stick to peer-reviewed research articles: that’s all FOA is or was ever about.
2. Copyright and re-use rights are and always have been a red herring in the FOA age.
3. All that’s needed is an FOA version of the peer-reviewed research article.
4. That’s the author’s peer-reviewed final draft.
5. The only thing needed from “journals” (or equivalent) is the adjudication and certification of the peer review.
6. That’s a service, not a product: Nothing to “copyright.”
7. To make the current house of copywrit (sic) cards collapse, all authors need do is make 4 (the author’s peer-reviewed final draft FOA (freely accessible online)
8. FOA immediately (upon “acceptance”) and permanently (“FIPATRAFTO”).
9. For the faint-hearted and superstitious, there’s the Copy-Request Button during any (bogus) publisher “embargo” on “OA.”
10. Like Copyright worries (2), Button worries are red herrings.
11. FOA is all that’s needed or was ever needed.
12. Once researchers, their institutions and their funders get round to providing FOA (= “Green, Gratis OA”), Fair Gold “OA” (peer-review service fees) and all the re-use rights researchers need will be within trivial reach.
(Waiting for researchers, their institutions and their funders to get their heads around this and to set their fingers in motion continues to be yawningly boring; please wake me when they get round to it...)
Friday, February 10. 2017
You’ve long championed the Green OA movement. Why do you feel this model has the most promise, and what do you envision for a Green future?
Green-first is the only approach to OA (1994) that I have ever championed since long before the term “OA” was coined (2002):
My approach is, and always has been:
1. All researchers self-archive all their peer-reviewed research (immediately upon acceptance for publication, or even earlier, in their own institutional repositories). Self-archiving (1994) came to be called BOAI-I (2002) and then “Green OA” (2004) (with OA journal publishing, formerly BOAI-II, dubbed “Gold OA”).
2. Once Green OA is universal, libraries can cancel subscriptions (because everything is available as Green OA), making subscriptions unsustainable, and forcing peer-reviewed journal publishers to cut obsolete products and services and their costs and downsize to their only remaining essential service: the management of peer review. There is no more print edition and all archiving and access-provision is offloaded onto the worldwide network of Green OA institutional repositories.
3. Journals then have to down-size to just peer review and its cost and convert to Gold OA for cost-recovery (this is what I now call “Fair Gold OA”) paid for by authors’ institutions out of a small fraction of their annual windfall subscription cancellation savings.
4. But Gold OA before universal Green-OA-induced downsizing is “Fool’s Gold OA” because it is unnecessary, arbitrarily inflated in price, double-paid (uncancellable institutional subscriptions for their input and Fool’s-Gold OA fees for their output) or even double-dipped (in the case of hybrid subscriptions/fool’s-gold journals) at a time when subscriptions alone are already unaffordable.
Harnad, S. (1995) Universal FTP Archives for Esoteric Science and Scholarship: A Subversive Proposal. In: Ann Okerson & James O'Donnell (Eds.) Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads; A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing. Washington, DC., Association of Research Libraries, June 1995.What has delayed this optimal, inevitable and obvious outcome is (1) researcher slowness in self-archiving, (2) institutional and funder slowness in implementing and monitoring Green OA self-archiving mandates and (3) Fool’s-Gold-Fever. Publishers have also tried to embargo Green OA — but for this there is a solution, the institutional repository’s eprint-request Button for any embargoed deposits:
Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2014) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)
What do you think are the pros and cons of current Gold OA solutions such as using an APC or library subsidy model to fund publications? Do you think these models could become sustainable or do you think they are replacing current research funding struggles with new ones (e.g. instead of grappling with subscriptions libraries will now grapple with APCs)?
For pre-Green Fool’s-Gold OA, it’s all cons and no pros. The pros are for Green OA, and that can be provided free.
Pre-Green Fool’s-Gold is enormously over-priced (because it still includes the products and services and their costs that universal Green OA makes obsolete), double-paid, double-dipped (in hybrid Fool’s Gold journal), unaffordable and unsustainable.
In contrast, down-sized post-Green Fair-Gold (for peer review service only) is affordable and sustainable.
Do you think control of research publication needs to be taken away from corporate publishers or do you think it is possible for them to work with the academic community? If the former, who do you think needs to take over research publication and dissemination - groups of academics running their own journals, societies or university presses taking back journals, library publishers etc. and why?
No, I think this is all nonsense and has been holding us up for decades. There is no way to “take over” and it’s unnecessary. What’s necessary is for all institutions and funders to mandate Green OA. That will force downsizing and conversion to Fair-Gold without the need for "take-overs" (except in the case of abandoned titles, which can then indeed be taken over by Fair-Gold OA publishers).
Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Lariviere, V., Gingras, Y., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLOS ONE 5 (10) e13636
In the OA movement do you think there is a place for discussion about substantially lowering research access fees as opposed to trying to eliminate them entirely? Do you think this is something that is/should be considered more (e.g. iTunes model where articles are $2 instead of $40)?
This is the oldest and silliest approach of all: the SPARC approach in the 1990’s (till they realized it doesn’t work and switched to Green and Gold OA): try to collectively negotiate licenses to lower the price of subscriptions. It doesn’t work, because journals are independent and will not downsize unless they are forced to. And only mandatory Green OA and cancellation can force them to do it. And no subscription price is a fair price because subscriptions are unnecessary and obsolete with universal Green OA
It is taking the author/institution/funder/library community a ridiculously long time to learn that that their only path to universal OA is by first universally mandating Green. The outcome remains optimal and inevitable (and obvious) but I have tired of repeating myself, so I am no longer actively archivangelizing except when asked.
Harnad, S. (1997). How to fast-forward learned serials to the inevitable and the optimal for scholars and scientists. Serials Librarian, 30(3-4), 73-81.
Tuesday, January 31. 2017
Monday, January 23. 2017
by Richard Poynder.
OA advocates are a plurality, not a monolith. “They” do not agree that only CC-BY = OA.
There are two "shades" of OA:
"Gratis OA" = free access
"Libre OA" = CC-BY
The right measure of proportion OA for PMC (or any repository) is the percent that is Gratis or Libre OA, not just the percent that is CC-BY. (It also matter when it is deposited: immediately or a year or more after publication.)
The PMC figures are insufficient. Percent OA in PMC does not even represent percent OA in biomedicine, in the US or globally, let alone in all fields. And PMC, as Richard notes, is largely publisher-deposited, which means it's For-Fee Fool's Gold OA rather than author-deposited For-Free Green OA.
That the percentage OA is growing globally with time is inevitable, as the old researchers are retiring with time, and the young researchers have more sense.
The goal, however, is OA, not "living up to the BOAI definition."
And the growth rate is still absurdly slow, compared to what it could and ought to be (and have been).
Thursday, January 12. 2017
To measure compliance with an immediate-deposit (Green OA) mandate, the following would provide an estimate:
1. Require immediate deposit of the dated letter of acceptance..No, this is not too complicated nor too demanding (as everyone will of course cry). It's exactly the simple, natural compliance monitoring system that needs to be put into place in order to establish a natural long-term practice, one that ensures that immediate Green OA is always provided.
Of course, the institutions and funders need to stand firm on the carrots/sticks: Non-compliance should have consequences. It doesn't take much, because the policy does not ask for much.
Once it's a reliable and universal habit, the checks and stats can become less frequent.
Vincent-Lamarre, P, Boivin, J, Gargouri, Y, Larivière, V. and Harnad, S. (2016) Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: The MELIBEA Score. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) 67(11) 2815-2828
Wednesday, January 11. 2017
Friday, January 6. 2017
(1) The old librarians’ “double-payment” argument against subscription publishing (the institution pays once to fund the research, then a second time to “buy back” the publication) is false (and silly, actually) in the letter (though on the right track in spirit).
(2) No, the institution that pays for the research output is not paying a second time to buy it back. Institutional journal subscriptions are not for buying back their own research output. They already have their own research output. They are buying in the research output of other institutions, and of other countries, with their journal subscriptions. So no double-payment there, even if you reckon it at the funder- or the tax-payer-level instead of the level of the institution that pays for the subscription.
(3) The problem was never double-payment (for subscriptions): It was (a) (huge) overpayment for institutional access and (b) completely intolerable and counterproductive access-denial for researchers at institutions that couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for subscriptions to any given journal (and there are tens of thousands of research journals): The users that are the double losers there are (i) all researchers at all the institutions that produce all research output (who lose all those of their would-be users who are at non-subscribing institutions for any given journal) and (ii) all researchers at all the non-subscribing institutions for any given journal, who lose access to all non-subscribed research.
Now take a few minutes to think through the somewhat more complicated but much more accurate and informative version (3) of the double-payment fallacy in (1).
The solution is very clear, and has been clear for close to 30 years now (but not reached — nor even grasped by most):
(4) Peer-reviewed research should be freely accessible to all its users. It is give-away research. The authors get no money for it: they (and their institutions and funders and tax-payers) only seek readers, users, uptake and impact.
(5) The only non-obsolete service that peer-reviewed journals still perform in the online era is peer review itself (and they don’t even do most of that: researchers do all the refereeing for free, but a competent editor has to understand the submissions, pick the right referees, umpire their reports, and make sure that the necessary revisions are done by the author). Journals today earn from $1500 to $5000 or more per article they publish, combining all their subscription revenue, per article. Yet the true cost of peer review per article is a small fraction of that: My estimate is that it’s from $50 to $200 per round of refereeing. (Notice that it’s not per accepted paper: There’s no need to bundle the price of refereeing all rejected or many times re-refereed papers into the price of the winning losers who get accepted!)
(6) So the refereeing service needs to be paid for at its true, fair price, per paper, regardless of whether the outcome is accept, revise + re-referee, or reject: a service fee for each round of refereeing.
(7) Now comes open access publishing (“Gold OA”) — which is not — repeat not — what I have just described in (6)!
(8) Gold OA today is “Fool’s Gold OA.” It includes two kinds of double payment subtler than the simplistic notion in (1). It has to be calculated at the level of the double-payer, the institution: Institutions must, first, pay (A) for the subscription journals that they need and can afford: the ones whose contents are otherwise not accessible to their users but need to be. Then, second, they must pay (B) the FGold OA publication costs for each paper that their researchers publish in a non-subscription journal. That’s already a double-payment: Subscription costs plus FGold OA costs. The S costs are for incoming S-research from all other institutions and the FG costs are for their own outgoing FG research output. And the FG costs are not $50-$200 per paper for peer review, but $1000 or much more for FG “publication fees” (now ask yourself what are the expenses for which those fees are payment!).
(9) And there is another “double” here in some cases, because sometimes the S-journal and the FG-journal are the same journal: The "hybrid" subscription/ FG publishers: These publishers offer FG as an option that the author can choose to pay for. That is double-dipping. And even if the hybrid journal promises to lower the subscription price per article in proportion to how many articles pay for FG, that just means that the foolish institution that is paying for the FG is subsidizing, with its huge payment per article, the subscription costs of all the other subscribing institutions.
(10) So FG is not only outrageously over-priced, but it means double-payment for institutions, the possibility of double-dipping by publishers, and, at best, paying institutions subsidizing the S institutions with their FG double payments.
(11) So FG does not work: Publishers cannot and will not cut costs and downsize to just providing peer review at a fair price (“Fair Gold”) while there are still fat subscription revenues as well as fat FG payments to be had.
(12) Yet there is another way that OA can be provided, instead of via Fools Gold OA and that is via Green OA self-archiving, by their own authors, of all refereed, accepted, published papers, in their own institution's Green OA Institutional Repositories.
(13) Not only does Green OA provide OA itself, but once it reaches close to 100%, it allows all institutions to cancel their subscription journals, making subscriptions no longer sustainable, thereby forcing publishers to cut costs by unbundling peer review and its true costs from all the obsolete costs of printing paper, producing PDF, distributing the journal, archiving the journal, etc. That’s all done by the global network of Green OA Institutional repositories, leaving only the peer review as the last remaining essential service of peer-reviewed journal publishers. That's affordable, sustainable, Green-OA-based "Fair Gold" OA.
(14) 100% Green OA could have been had over 20 years ago, if researchers had just provided it. Some did, but far too few. Most were too lazy, too dim-witted or too timid to do it. Then their institutions and funders tried to mandate OA -- so publishers decided to embargo Green OA for at least a year from publication, offering Fool's Gold OA instead.
(15) And that’s about where we are now: Weak Green OA mandates providing some Green OA but not enough. Some FG OA, doubly compromised now by the fact that authors have been taking it up as a kind of pay-to-publish opportunity, with weak peer review (or none at all, in the case of the many scam FG journals who are rushing to cash in on the Fool’s Gold Rush). Meanwhile OA activists are foolishly clamouring ore-emptively for “open data,” “CC-BY licenses” and “open science” when they don’t even have OA yet, subscriptions are doing fine, and FG is outrageously over-priced and double-paid, hence unaffordable.
(16) There are simple solutions for all this, but they require sensible, concerted action on the part of the research community: Green OA mandates need strengthening, monitoring and carrot/stick enforcement; there is a simple way around publishers’ Green OA embargos (the “Copy Request” Button , and a few institutions and funders are sensibly using the eligibility rules for research evaluation as the carrot/stick to ensure compliance with the mandate.
But I’ve tired of repeating myself and tired of waiting. It can all be said in these 16 points, and has been said, countless times. But it’s one thing to lead a bunch of researchers to the waters of Green OA self-archiving; it’s quite another to get them to stoop to drink.
So let their librarians keep whinging incoherently about “double-payment” for yet another decade of lost research access and impact…
Harnad, S. (1995) Universal FTP Archives for Esoteric Science and Scholarship: A Subversive Proposal. In: Ann Okerson & James O'Donnell (Eds.) Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads; A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing. Washington, DC., Association of Research Libraries, June 1995. http://www.arl.org/scomm/subversive/toc.html
______ . (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8). http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21348/
______ (2014) The only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable: Mandate Green Open Access. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28 http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/04/28/inflated-subscriptions-unsustainable-harnad/
______ (2015) Open Access: What, Where, When, How and Why. In: Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: An International Resource eds. J. Britt Holbrook & Carl Mitcham, (2nd edition of Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, Farmington Hills MI: MacMillan Reference) http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/361704/
______ (2015) Optimizing Open Access Policy. The Serials Librarian, 69(2), 133-141 http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/381526/
______ (2016) Open Access Archivangelist: The Last Interview? CEON Otwarta Nauka (Open Science), Summer Issue http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/398024/
Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2014) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.) http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/
Swan, A; Gargouri, Y; Hunt, Megan; & Harnad, S (2015) Open Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, Effectiveness. Pasteur4OA Workpackage 3 Report. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/375854/
Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, Larivière, Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2016) Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: The MELIBEA Score. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) 67(11) 2815-2828 http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/370203/
Friday, November 25. 2016
AN INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR HARNAD
Interview by Michael Gold Animal Justice UK (2) 2016 (hyperlinked version)
Stevan Harnad is Professor of Psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal and Professor of Web Science in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Animal Sentience’.
Abstract: A 2-stage strategy to (1) inform and sensitize the public -- through CCTV, web-streaming and crowd-sourcing -- about the suffering inflicted on animals in commercial breeding and use for meat, dairy, fur and fashion, followed by (2) a graduated tax on producers, vendors and consumers of animal products, claimable as a rebate by producers, vendors and consumers of non-animal alternative products.
MG: In 2004 the [UK] Court of Appeal referred to animal suffering as being determined by “scientific...value judgements”. Given your background in cognitive science, how would you describe the current degree of scientific understanding of animal suffering or well- being?"
SH: It is certain that cognitive psychobiologists whose research is devoted to understanding how animals think (cognition) and feel (sentience) have extensive knowledge and evidence about what is required for animal well-being. Neither the law nor the courts have come anywhere near giving this evidence the weight it deserves, in the way it has done for the medical and psychiatric evidence on human well-being.
Notice that I am using ordinary-language terms such as thinking, feeling and well-being rather than abstract technical terms that formalise and desensitise what is really at issue. Another such ordinary-language term that everyone understands is suffering. Many current laws allow enormous amounts of suffering to be inflicted on animals - suffering that is evident to anyone who looks and feels, and that does not need “scientific” analyses to "prove" the victims are indeed suffering.
Trying to protect animals from suffering operates under an enormous logical handicap, well-known to philosophers: the “other-minds problem.” It is logically impossible to know for sure (“prove”), even for scientists, whether and what any entity other than oneself is feeling. Even language is not a guarantor: if someone says “that hurts,” they could be pretending, or they could even be a robot - a zombie, that does not feel at all. Logically speaking.
But it is obvious to all who are trying to be honest about the problem of human-inflicted animal suffering that it is disingenuous to invoke the ‘other-minds problem’ in order to create doubt about suffering in animals where we would not invoke it in the case of humans. We know that just about all mammals and birds suffer if they are confined, deprived of access to their kin and kind, or forcibly manipulated. We recognise the mammalian and avian signs of stress, pain, fear and depression; and where we lack personal experience (such as with reptiles, fish or invertebrates), there are not only scientists but lay people — with abundant experience observing and caring for animals — who are highly capable and more than willing guide us.
It would be a shameful pretence to act solemnly as if there were any uncertainty about the vast, obvious amounts of gratuitous and indefensible agony that humans are inflicting on animals in the bred-animal product industries.
“Stress” is a formal, sanitised term for harm - both physical and mental, both felt and unfelt - that is incurred by an organism’s body. There do exist some subtle cases of stimulation, manipulation, and background conditions where it is not yet known scientifically whether they are stressful. Those are the ‘unresolved scientific problems’. But the elephant in the room — the countless instances and practices that not only virtually all cognitive psychobiologists but all decent laymen would immediately recognise as suffering — are still so immeasurably widespread, legally permissible, and un-policed today that we are far from reaching cases where there is any genuine uncertainty that calls for scientific expertise.
MG: In the same judgement it was stated that emergent “evidence...[for] an identifiable deficit in net well-being” caused by restricted feed could give credence to a legal challenge against the practice. Does this type of statement imply courts trailing behind scientific consensus in their reasoning?
SH: It is very hard, even for a cognitive scientist, to force oneself into the sanitized, almost psychopathic jargon of “restricted feed” and “identifiable deficit in net well-being” when the question really being asked is whether starving chickens causes suffering.
“Broilers” have been selectively bred to grow from chicks into adult-sized (indeed pathologically oversized and deformed) invalids in an extremely short time. Not only does this put tremendous strain on their bodies and legs (crippling them and sometimes making their legs snap off) but it makes them so ill that they cannot survive till breeding age unless the ones that are to be usedas breeders are systematically starved throughout their short, agonized lives so as to slow the rate of their devastating growth enough to allow their pathological genotype to keep being reproduced.
Of course it causes suffering to be kept constantly on the threshold of starvation. There is hardly the need for the learned opinion of “poultry scientists” to attest to this — unless one is trying to make mischievous or malevolent use of the “other-minds problem” to protect economic interests.
MG: Is there scope for greater cooperation between lawyers and scientists regarding animal welfare? How do you think this could be achieved?
SH: Yes, there is enormous scope. And enormous good will as well, especially among the younger generation of lawyers. And “cognitive psychobiologists” are also people -people who know that nonhuman animals, like human ones, are feeling creatures that can be, and are being, made to suffer gratuitously by economics-driven industry, perverted, industry-driven "animal science," and uninformed as well as misinformed consumer demand. If asked, the impartial experts are well-equipped and eager to inform the public and protect and help promote sentient animals' well-being. That is the convergence and collaboration that the journal (Animal Sentience) is devoted to fostering.
The way we are doing it is through “open peer commentary.” Every “target article” published in the journal is circulated around the world, across all specialities — to zoologists, ethologists, ecologists, evolutionists, psychologists, legal scholars, bioethicists, nutritionists, veterinarians, social scientists and animal activists — inviting them to provide commentary that elaborates, integrates, critiques, supplements or applies the content of the target article. The commentaries are published as formal mini-articles following the target article; the author responds to them. The journal is online and open access so that the target articles as well as the commentaries can be published as soon as they are reviewed and accepted. The target article by the biologist Brian Key on whether fish feel pain has already drawn over 50 commentaries. Among the target articles currently undergoing commentary are ones by: a philosopher (Colin Klein) and a biologist (Andrew Barron) on insect sentience; an economist (Yew- Kwang Ng) on welfare biology; a law professor (Martine Lachance) on veterinary reporting of abuse; a philosopher (Mark Rowlands) on animal personhood; a cognitive psychologist (Arthur Reber) on the origins of mind, and a psychologist (Thomas Zentall) on cognitive dissonance in animals and humans.
Among the signs of progress are the growing number of countries and states where animals are being formally accorded the legal status of sentient beings with biological needs (instead of just property). Just here in Montreal, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of McGill University convened an important and influential symposium on animal law in 2010. (It was this symposium that made me into a vegan!) In the same year, the International Research Group on Animal law of the Université du Québec à Montrèal (UQAM) convened an international animal law conference in Paris on Animal Suffering: From Science to Law. Since then both France and Quebec have granted animals sentient-being status. A new course on animal law offered by Professor Alain Roy (specialist in child protection law) at the Université de Montréal was filled with one hundred law students on the very day it was announced.
I will be directing the 7th Summer School in 2018 of the Cognitive Sciences Institute at UQAM, whose theme will be The Other-Minds Problem: Animal Sentience and Cognition.
MG: You are passionate about pushing for CCTV in abattoirs. What would you like to happen?
SH: Not just in slaughterhouses. In all locales where animals are commercially bred, confined, or used in any way by humans.
The strategy is in two phases:
Phase I (Public Sensitisation)
1. Adopt a law that recognises animals as sentient beings with biological and psychological needs.
2. Require, by law, 24-hour, 360-degree audio/video surveillance and recording at all locales where animals are commercially bred, confined, or used in any way by humans in order to monitor and ensure that the animals biological and psychological needs are being met according to existing regulations (which of course are far from adequate).
3. As the enormous volume of surveillance recordings cannot possibly all be inspected by government inspectors, all the recordings must be coded, web-streamed and made permanently open-access online, so that their inspection can be crowd-sourced for public inspection: A clear description of the pertinent existing regulations (with which the producers need to comply) has to be made available online for the general public, and relative to those existing regulations, any citizen can then report any observed violation, noting the code of the video on which it occurs and the timing of the violation.
4. Not only will this help immeasurably to ensure that existing (inadequate) regulations are complied with, and thus ensure that what goes on is only that which is allowed by existing law, but it will have the even more important effect of allowing the public to witness all the horrors that go on that are still allowed by the existing laws (especially in industrial breederies, transport and slaughterhouses).
5. It is these “authorised” horrors that Ag-Gag laws and lobbying are aggressively trying to prevent the public from witnessing.
6. The hope is that once the public has open access to the full scale of the horrors (especially in industrial breederies, transport and slaughterhouses) the majority of thus-sensitised citizens will exert pressure on their elected lawmakers not only to make existing regulations increasingly rigorous, in the protection of animals’ biological and psychological needs, but also for introducing legislation for a reduction in what is permissible and a transition to alternatives to animal production and consumption:
Phase II (Graduated Taxation on Animal Production and Consumption)
1. Require, by law, a surcharge on the production, vending and consumption of animal products, available as a rebate to incentivise the production, vending and consumption of non- animal alternatives.
2. The percentage surcharge can be increased with time.
3. The surcharge should be imposed on all three involved parties: the producer, the vendor and the consumer.
4. The rebate should likewise be available to all three parties: the producer, the vendor and the consumer. (The implementation of the rebate will be complicated initially, but that should not be accepted as an excuse for not imposing the surcharge. With thought, testing and planning, a fair, efficient rebate system can be developed by the time the graduated surcharge reaches significant levels.)
5. For producers, especially, the rebates will provide strong incentives to produce non-animal alternatives.
6. All surplus in the tax revenues should be used to provide sanctuary for the former production- animals that are liberated by the change in production and consumption patterns. And any left-over from that should be used to invest in the development of non-animal alternatives.
Michael Gold is a first year law student at Queen Mary University and will be piloting one of ALAW’s first university subgroups.
Saturday, November 12. 2016
The accession to power of the likes of Donald Trump is by far the greatest catastrophe -- moral and environmental -- to befall the planet since WW II, perhaps ever.
With control of the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court all ceded to Trump, all the US consitution's intended checks-and-balances are check-mated and Trump's malign destructiveness is unchecked.
Since the free and open media helped get him there, it is unlikely that they will be able to constrain him now.
Bottomless ignorance, incompetence, pettiness and malevolence have been empowered limitlessly.
And by 2020 immense, irreversible damage will have been done.
Even a violent revolution could not prevent it, just make it worse.
Only a quick impeachment from one of the pending court cases against him can mitigate the damage (though Pence et al are not much better).
Sunday, November 6. 2016
From: Lovász László
Subject: Letter from President Lovasz
Date: October 24, 2016 at 3:38:45 AM GMT-4
I address this letter to Honorary and External members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Several of you have resigned from ourAcademy, protesting the policies of the Hungarian government and assuming that the Academy did not work to mitigate these. This is a very serious loss for us. I understand their concerns, and respect their decision, but I would like to make some comments about the Academy's position.
Democracy in Hungarian society is still evolving and sadly it has been and still is deeply divided between - roughly speaking - a liberal and conservative side. Throughout society, including intellectuals, this leads to opposing camps, and the tribal mentality often dampens the critical balanced approach that could be expected from such people.
The Academy is one of the very few places where such divisions nevertheless enable creative activities, and where people voting for either side are willing and able to cooperate for the benefit of science and education. I was nominated and elected by all members on both sides of the line, and I promised to maintain this fruitful cooperation. From this it follows that I should not make any political statements in the name of the Academy, since I was not elected on any political platform. Any political statement would be opposed by a considerable fraction of the members.
Of course, it is not always easy to draw the line between political and moral concerns. On issues when politicians from both sides advocate one-bit answers, we try to express a scientifically supported, balanced opinion. This requires rigorous work and advice from experts. For example, our Academy did carry out a thorough and (I hope) unbiased study of the composition of migrants, and with some recommendations, released it to the government; this is now publicly available. On the also hotly debated issue of public education, we did not take sides on whether it should be run by the national or local governments, but started more than a dozen research groups to design education methodology based on real experiments performed in real schools. An extensive volume about the status of the Hungarian legal system has just been published by our research institute (this is also freely available from our web site). We publish well-researched (and often critical) studies about many other legal, sociological, educational, economic issues of our society.
We must cooperate with the government (which was reelected with more than 50% of the votes cast) on a number of issues like research funding (we maintain a research network of institutes employing about 3000 researchers), education, water management and other problems raised by climate change, just to mention a few.
I regret the resignation of several of our external and honorary members. I hope very much that those who have resigned will maintain their close relation with the Academy, their collaboration with Hungarian scientists. I also hope that your expert and wise advice will help the Academy to work for progress and ensure that decisions are made on scientific basis. I want to thank those external and honorary members who expressed their support for a policy as outlined above.
I am at your disposal should you have any questions, and so are your collaborators in research, as well as the leaders of the section of your research area.
President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
From: Stevan Harnad
Subject: Reply to Letter from President Lovasz
Date: October 24, 2016 at 9:05:09 AM GMT-4
To: Lovász László
Dear Professor Lovasz,
Thank you for your message to External and Honorary Members.
I regret that I cannot agree that the underlying issues are merely a matter of political differences of opinion between between liberals and conservatives in an evolving democracy.
Nor can I agree that — in the name of keeping science separate from politics — there is nothing more the Academy can do. I think the Open Letter of the Internal Members and Doctors indicates what the Academy can do.
But I fully understand the difficult position you are in, in view of the fact that the Internal Members’ salaries and pensions as well as their research grants are under the control of the Orban regime.
Please believe that our resignations and critique are not intended to harm the Academy but to help it.
This is a reflection of my view only. I do not speak for the other resignees.
From: Stevan Harnad
Subject: Fwd: Letter from President Lovasz
Date: October 24, 2016 at 8:34:23 AM GMT-4
To: Thomas Jovin, Israel Pecht, Torsten Wiesel, Daniel C.Dennett
The... letter, sent today by the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to all the External and Honorary Members, is unfortunately a confirmation of the degree to which the Academy is now under the thumb of the Orban regime. It recites the all-too-familiar — and highly misleading — talking points of the Orban regime, marshalled for every occasion:
(1) Hungary and the Academy have democracy and pluralism
(2) the issues cited by the resignees are merely political differences between liberals and conservatives
(3) the current government is a reflection of the free will of the majority of the populace
(4) an Academy of Science must be independent of politics
(There is also some muted indication that the President’s and the Academy’s hands are tied because they are dependent on the government for support and subsidies. This is certainly true. But the rest is quite the opposite of the truth.)
1. Democracy in Hungary is not evolving, it is devolving, being systematically dismantled by the Orban regime.
2. The differences among the members of the Academy, and in the general population, are not differences between liberals and conservatives, but between proponents of democracy and proponents (or fellow-travellers) of autocracy.
Opposing the Orban regime are not just liberals but centrists and conservatives, although they are all collectively labelled as liberals (and communists and traitors) by the Orban regime. Even the neo-nazi Jobbik party, which is as far right as one can be, is opposed to Orban’s kleptocracy.
3. The current government is not a reflection of the free will of the populace: It is the reflection of a population under duress from an ever more autocratic and corrupt machine that is controlling their media, their education, their livelihoods, their health, their laws, their tax money and their elections. None of this is a liberal/conservative matter.
4. In a democracy, an Academy of Sciences should be independent from politics. In an increasingly flagrant autocracy, an Academy of Sciences, like every individual and institution, should be opposing the autocracy in any way it can.
The many international, nonpartisan reports in the database linked to our call for resignations contain some of the abundant and definitive evidence of the ever-growing anti-demcratic actions of the Orban regime.
The signatories of the Internal Members' and Doctors’ call for the Academy to investigate and openly debate these actions. This is the way the Academy can do its part in trying to restore freedom and democracy in Hungary. Not in trying to reassure External Members that these are all just partisan political differences on which science is best served by remaining mute.
I close with an illustration of how the familiar tactics of the Orban regime are again palpable in Professor Lovasz’s letter (without a doubt vetted and partly also redacted, by the Orban regime’s minders):
One of the signatories of the 2011 Open Letter about the "philosopher affair” (which had been a microcosm and harbinger of what was to ensue in the country as a whole in the next 5 years) had been successfully persuaded to withdraw his signature — by receiving a barrage of the apparently polarized views on the issue (government press and police harassment campaigns against Academy members critical of the Orban regime)— that this was just a partisan political matter on which he could not make a judgment one way or the other. The ensuing five years have since demonstrated to the world that the polarization is not between liberals and conservatives in a democracy, but between opponents and collaborators of a malign and sinking autocracy. This time this prominent academician resigned. I doubt that Professor Lovasz’s letter will persuade him to withdraw his resignation, or to rue it.
(Page 1 of 113, totaling 1124 entries) » next page
Syndicate This Blog
Materials You Are Invited To Use To Promote OA Self-Archiving:
The American Scientist Open Access Forum has been chronicling and often directing the course of progress in providing Open Access to Universities' Peer-Reviewed Research Articles since its inception in the US in 1998 by the American Scientist, published by the Sigma Xi Society.
The Forum is largely for policy-makers at universities, research institutions and research funding agencies worldwide who are interested in institutional Open Acess Provision policy. (It is not a general discussion group for serials, pricing or publishing issues: it is specifically focussed on institutional Open Acess policy.)
You can sign on to the Forum here.
Last entry: 2017-02-23 06:28
1124 entries written
238 comments have been made