USA wants to Censor Science

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Heronblade:

WouldYouKindly:
... This makes practically no sense. What could possibly be a better system for a scientist than to have other scientists weigh in on his findings? I'm wondering why any scientist would support such a system if it weren't for a pile of money. Even then, that pile of money is hardly worth it considering the implications.

It makes perfect sense, if the censored research is genuinely too dangerous to leak to the public. I am not convinced that the specific research topic above falls under that category, but still.

Let me put it this way. There are plenty of research topics that can cause incredible amounts of harm if the wrong people start messing with it, even if you discounted everyone that might actually intend to do harm. From self replicating nanorobots, to altered diseases, to genetic manipulation, to easier techniques for heavy metal enrichment. All of these things have incredible positive potential, but they are all also incredibly dangerous. A mistake can easily kill thousands or more.

I do not in the end mind the idea of controlling detailed access to such topics so long as it is done intelligently and for the right reasons. The problem I have is that not only can I not think of any group I feel I could trust with that job, the US government fails to even approach the "maybe if we're desperate" category.

You can't hide this information until all potential threats are gone(never). So what good does it do? It just creates stagnation and gums up the works. It's nothing more than a delay tactic at best and you're not delaying for something that will actually ever come so there's no point in the delay.

If we were to stop all research that could prove dangerous to us, then that would be... almost all of it.

Stagnant:
If we were to stop all research that could prove dangerous to us, then that would be... almost all of it.

it's not so much "stop all research" its limit who has access to it.

obviously there are freedom of speech concerns but consider this:

we have scientists working in labs with chemical and biological weapons that we're perfectly fine with the idea should be kept restricted/secret.

we might not agree with such things existing but even then there will be those who say if they do the work itself should be kept restricted/secret.

is it not possible that "civilian" research on diseases have strayed into ground where access to them should possible been restricted because they have hit something that could be equally as dangerous as those we already keep locked away ?

this information is of limited interest to those outside the field. i see no real issue with possibly not publicly publishing it but at the same time granting free access to all those academics who would have genuine interest in the research while also keeping tracks of that ie having it classified in some way.

after all the judgement of whether it should be or not is on the basis of how this information could be used for ill and give the scientific nature of the paper im not one to be judging that.

to take the argument to fantastical extremities for fun: what if someone was going to published a "how to build a nuke out a bean can, an apple, a 9 volt battery and some nails" on the internet that actually worked and you knew about it in advance ?

you'd be fine with letting that happen in the name of "freedom of speech" ?

imo if anyone ever let something like that happen the public would, at the very least, metaphorically string the people they thought were responsible up for it and not without some justification.

behind the ideal of "freedom of speech" lies the basic premise that perusing it and/or claiming it as a "right" makes the world a better in which to exist.

but the world is not a better place in which to exist if everyone in it knows how to make an indiscriminate "poor man's nuke".

WouldYouKindly:

You can't hide this information until all potential threats are gone(never). So what good does it do? It just creates stagnation and gums up the works. It's nothing more than a delay tactic at best and you're not delaying for something that will actually ever come so there's no point in the delay.

I didn't say that one would keep it a secret, I said that one would attempt to control detailed access. In other words, the people with the means and ability to safely work and discuss the project in question are able to do so with few restrictions, they just can't go into specifics when talking about it to everyone outside of that category. I'm thinking of running it like a governmental black project, not stuffing the info into a dusty vault.

cobra_ky:
How is this any different from a government trying to protect its nuclear secrets?

I never saw any attempts to ban publications about atoms, radioactivity, atom stability and atom splitting.

Even what type of uranium you need for nuclear weapons and how to enrich it is public knowledge:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium

Like the project manager Fouchier already pointed out, any terrorist with the right facilities and biological knowledge can already do this easily, and those without can't even with all the details of what they've worked on.

The publication of their work is about as much a threat as someone 'publishing' an article about dynamite and that it is explosive, while half the world knows generally what it is an how to make it.

dyre:
I don't agree with what they're doing, but you could at least report it in a less biased way. I imagine the NSABB is trying to make sure information on making a strand of flu mutate to spread quickly among the population is kept from the wrong hands.

It's a question of whether academic freedom is worth the risk of bioterrorism. I don't know how high the risk is (and it's probably really low), but to say that academic information should always be available to everyone regardless of the risk to human life is really naive.

Seanchaidh:
I don't know about the particular details of this case, but I can see in principle a reason one might want to censor the publication of research about dangerous pathogens. Of course, I can only imagine such protections would merely delay the inevitable. Knowledge is difficult to suppress forever. The thing we should be concerned with is the effect of such censorship on the development of countermeasures compared to how long the information is kept somewhat secret.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to cite a slippery slope on this one, and I don't think I'm being fallacious in doing so, because the same sentiment can be used to justify any censorship of science in principle.

If we accept that we can censor a scientific, peer-reviewed paper because the information in that paper could, potentially, if a person were to have access to the proper facilities, be used to cause loss of life or drastically affect "national security" in some other fashion, then significant portions of the literature are simply going to vanish into a black pit of redactions and secrecy orders. Not just medical research either; any sufficiently disruptive revelation revealed in an economics paper could be censored, geological surveys of fossil fuel reserves, physics papers on advanced energy generation technology, papers regarding rocketry or metamaterials or nanotech or robotics; there's literally no end to it.

There's also no point to it. The USA is responsible for an ever-decreasing share of the global scientific output, and considering the horrifying under-investment and inefficiencies in their education system, that trend isn't going to change in the near future; so all they would be doing is slowing overall progress without significantly affecting the amount of information available to "dangerous" individuals and groups. Not to mention the terminal effect it would have on the US publication system as a whole; if the rest of the world stops publishing their results through the "big name" journals run from the USA because they don't want their work censored, and institutions globally stop buying American publications altogether because they're no longer properly representative of the body of work, then those publications are going to be closing their doors.

Which is the greater risk; that a group of terrorists somehow take advantage of research material(nonsensical, considering the level of infrastructure involved), or that scientific progress that could lead to clean energy, new cures and treatments for disease, and a million other advancements is stifled because scientists can no longer collaborate effectively internationally or trust the literature?

There's prudence, and then there's baseless paranoia. This sort of idiocy is the latter.

Heronblade:
I didn't say that one would keep it a secret, I said that one would attempt to control detailed access.

...Isn't that the very definition of 'keeping something secret'?

In other words, the people with the means and ability to safely work and discuss the project in question are able to do so with few restrictions, they just can't go into specifics when talking about it to everyone outside of that category. I'm thinking of running it like a governmental black project, not stuffing the info into a dusty vault.

Which is, at least in countries I'm familiar with, already covered by existing secrecy laws.

Research is often enough declared secret at least in my university, difference though being that research is focused on practical applications or analysis or whatever. Quite often, specifics of a Thesis or a paper are declared secret by the will of the corporation funding it, or by some edict or another - such as when the subject of the research is part of the defence forces.

However, in all instances, the researcher(s) agrees beforehand that they loose the benefit for peer-review. They do not get an article out under their name, in the rare cases of the subject being something that would be published in the first place.

Which is why this censorship / secrecy approach doesn't work for basic level research where peer review is lifeblood. You can't do anything with just an abstract, and a paper where key parts are blacked out is useless for analysis and replication because, well, key parts are blacked out.

I believe the furor over this isn't so much that some people want to declare research a secret. I think it's about people wanting to declare research secret on the level where openess, replicability by non-involved parties and peer criticism are some of the most important factors. There is also little reason beyond fear mongering for declaring research of that type secret, because machinery, equipment or blueprints are not part of that level.

It's the difference between making the blueprints of a new assault rifle secret, and censoring a paper discussing the chemical properties of gunpowder in varying humidity conditions. The former has been done by pretty much everyone for as long as history has been written, and I doubt anyone has a problem with that. The latter is something that runs directly contradictory to how the scientific method operates and the knowledge by itself is not directly weaponized (or even all that dangerous without further development). Here, the intent is to do the latter.

Magichead:

dyre:
I don't agree with what they're doing, but you could at least report it in a less biased way. I imagine the NSABB is trying to make sure information on making a strand of flu mutate to spread quickly among the population is kept from the wrong hands.

It's a question of whether academic freedom is worth the risk of bioterrorism. I don't know how high the risk is (and it's probably really low), but to say that academic information should always be available to everyone regardless of the risk to human life is really naive.

Seanchaidh:
I don't know about the particular details of this case, but I can see in principle a reason one might want to censor the publication of research about dangerous pathogens. Of course, I can only imagine such protections would merely delay the inevitable. Knowledge is difficult to suppress forever. The thing we should be concerned with is the effect of such censorship on the development of countermeasures compared to how long the information is kept somewhat secret.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to cite a slippery slope on this one, and I don't think I'm being fallacious in doing so, because the same sentiment can be used to justify any censorship of science in principle.

If we accept that we can censor a scientific, peer-reviewed paper because the information in that paper could, potentially, if a person were to have access to the proper facilities, be used to cause loss of life or drastically affect "national security" in some other fashion, then significant portions of the literature are simply going to vanish into a black pit of redactions and secrecy orders. Not just medical research either; any sufficiently disruptive revelation revealed in an economics paper could be censored, geological surveys of fossil fuel reserves, physics papers on advanced energy generation technology, papers regarding rocketry or metamaterials or nanotech or robotics; there's literally no end to it.

There's also no point to it. The USA is responsible for an ever-decreasing share of the global scientific output, and considering the horrifying under-investment and inefficiencies in their education system, that trend isn't going to change in the near future; so all they would be doing is slowing overall progress without significantly affecting the amount of information available to "dangerous" individuals and groups. Not to mention the terminal effect it would have on the US publication system as a whole; if the rest of the world stops publishing their results through the "big name" journals run from the USA because they don't want their work censored, and institutions globally stop buying American publications altogether because they're no longer properly representative of the body of work, then those publications are going to be closing their doors.

Which is the greater risk; that a group of terrorists somehow take advantage of research material(nonsensical, considering the level of infrastructure involved), or that scientific progress that could lead to clean energy, new cures and treatments for disease, and a million other advancements is stifled because scientists can no longer collaborate effectively internationally or trust the literature?

There's prudence, and then there's baseless paranoia. This sort of idiocy is the latter.

Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I hope you don't think I wrote that post without thinking about the larger ramifications for science.

What they're doing is, of course, idiocy. We're hit by flu every year anyway, and yes, the terrorists we face now don't have much beyond IEDs and big mouths. But say someone discovers a truly deadly virus with incredible transmission rates. Something that could hit our population the way diseases like smallpox, yellow fever, or the Spanish flu once did. What if, at that time, we face greater enemies, if we're in a cold war with powerful nations that would gladly do us harm if they could get away with it? Perhaps that sort of science ought to be kept secret then? We tried to keep nuclear weapons secret, after all (albeit we didn't do a very good job). Isn't that science?

I certainly think there's an argument for that, and that the NSABB are taking it too far in this case, but they're not just a bunch of hysterical government goons trying to take our freedoms in our, as the OP put it, beloved "Land of the Free." They're people who have a respectable argument, but one that doesn't fully apply in this case, and isn't worth the toll on academic freedom.

so this us government who wants to censor access to scientific information is the same us government that has a al-quada training manual thats "free for public distribution" and available for download by anyone on one of its websites?

They've been censoring scientific reports since at least 2003.

So by the standards of that, does that mean we have to take those shows off of the Discovery and History channels that show off new and amazing weapons? I mean if they see the weapon they've already figured out how to make it, obviously!

dyre:

Magichead:

dyre:
I don't agree with what they're doing, but you could at least report it in a less biased way. I imagine the NSABB is trying to make sure information on making a strand of flu mutate to spread quickly among the population is kept from the wrong hands.

It's a question of whether academic freedom is worth the risk of bioterrorism. I don't know how high the risk is (and it's probably really low), but to say that academic information should always be available to everyone regardless of the risk to human life is really naive.

Seanchaidh:
I don't know about the particular details of this case, but I can see in principle a reason one might want to censor the publication of research about dangerous pathogens. Of course, I can only imagine such protections would merely delay the inevitable. Knowledge is difficult to suppress forever. The thing we should be concerned with is the effect of such censorship on the development of countermeasures compared to how long the information is kept somewhat secret.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to cite a slippery slope on this one, and I don't think I'm being fallacious in doing so, because the same sentiment can be used to justify any censorship of science in principle.

If we accept that we can censor a scientific, peer-reviewed paper because the information in that paper could, potentially, if a person were to have access to the proper facilities, be used to cause loss of life or drastically affect "national security" in some other fashion, then significant portions of the literature are simply going to vanish into a black pit of redactions and secrecy orders. Not just medical research either; any sufficiently disruptive revelation revealed in an economics paper could be censored, geological surveys of fossil fuel reserves, physics papers on advanced energy generation technology, papers regarding rocketry or metamaterials or nanotech or robotics; there's literally no end to it.

There's also no point to it. The USA is responsible for an ever-decreasing share of the global scientific output, and considering the horrifying under-investment and inefficiencies in their education system, that trend isn't going to change in the near future; so all they would be doing is slowing overall progress without significantly affecting the amount of information available to "dangerous" individuals and groups. Not to mention the terminal effect it would have on the US publication system as a whole; if the rest of the world stops publishing their results through the "big name" journals run from the USA because they don't want their work censored, and institutions globally stop buying American publications altogether because they're no longer properly representative of the body of work, then those publications are going to be closing their doors.

Which is the greater risk; that a group of terrorists somehow take advantage of research material(nonsensical, considering the level of infrastructure involved), or that scientific progress that could lead to clean energy, new cures and treatments for disease, and a million other advancements is stifled because scientists can no longer collaborate effectively internationally or trust the literature?

There's prudence, and then there's baseless paranoia. This sort of idiocy is the latter.

Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I hope you don't think I wrote that post without thinking about the larger ramifications for science.

What they're doing is, of course, idiocy. We're hit by flu every year anyway, and yes, the terrorists we face now don't have much beyond IEDs and big mouths. But say someone discovers a truly deadly virus with incredible transmission rates. Something that could hit our population the way diseases like smallpox, yellow fever, or the Spanish flu once did. What if, at that time, we face greater enemies, if we're in a cold war with powerful nations that would gladly do us harm if they could get away with it? Perhaps that sort of science ought to be kept secret then? We tried to keep nuclear weapons secret, after all (albeit we didn't do a very good job). Isn't that science?

I certainly think there's an argument for that, and that the NSABB are taking it too far in this case, but they're not just a bunch of hysterical government goons trying to take our freedoms in our, as the OP put it, beloved "Land of the Free." They're people who have a respectable argument, but one that doesn't fully apply in this case, and isn't worth the toll on academic freedom.

You do realise that information which would fall under your definition is published pretty much continually in every physics, chemistry and medical journal in existence? I'll take issue with your core argument in a moment, but this point deserves to be made; we are already releasing a constant stream of information that is just as hypothetically damaging as your examples. Every nanotech paper ever written falls under such a ludicrously broad definition.

I also find it hilarious that you use atomic research as an example of why we should keep things secret. Firstly, because it just proves how utterly futile such censorship is; what, you think the Russians started their programme with complete blueprints of the American bomb designs? And secondly, because consider where we'd be today if such censorship HAD been in place and been successful; we'd have no Gen3 reactors, no Thorium reactors, no CERN-LHC, no Tevatron. The field of physics would be unrecognisable, our understanding of materials science would be decades less advanced.

If research is not being put through peer-review and then published, that research isn't being checked as rigorously as it should be, the scientists working on that research are being deprived of valuable input and collaboration; it's completely counterproductive.

You tried an example, so will I; American scientists discover a dangerous new pathogen, but access to their discovery and the research surrounding it is brutally restricted because of the paranoia of their government. Britain, who were unknowingly conducting a parallel series of experiments, also discover the pathogen, but they publish the data freely as would normally be the case.

Immediately, the efforts of the Americans to censor the information have failed utterly, but to continue;

Terrorists somehow recruit a team of scientists with the requisite knowledge, obtain a sample of the pathogen, and establish the necessary laboratory infrastructure to reproduce and weaponise it - all without being detected by even a single counter terror agency anywhere in the world. Well alas for the terrorists and luckily for all of us, the British scientists shared their research, and a group of scientists from Korea and Italy realise that the pathogen shares several characteristics with one which the drug they have been studying deals with extremely effectively. They work in tandem with the British scientists who made the initial discovery, and by the time these Bond-villain-level terrorists are capable of releasing their weaponised pathogen, a counter agent is ready for use.

Once that counter-pathogen exists, the threat is gone, or as gone as the threat of a pandemic -weaponised or otherwise- can be in our modern society. If the counter-pathogen is never developed because of ludicrous secrecy laws put in place for our "safety", all it takes is one leak of information, one desperate man looking to make some cash, one rogue government, and the very threat the secrecy laws were ostensibly created to prevent will be potentially unstoppable.

So lets see; it will have a chilling effect on general scientific progress, it could very well prevent the development of a counter to the threat it claims tenuously to protect us from, and it's entirely worthless anyway because such research is published continually in every nation around the globe with the capacity to do it, and so the same information or something just as dangerous will make it into circulation regardless. Sounds great.

Maybe they're worried about somebody using the information to produce bio-weapons or something; that seems like a pretty justifiable concern. I mean, it sounds pretty paranoid but America does have enemies.

geK0:
Maybe they're worried about somebody using the information to produce bio-weapons or something; that seems like a pretty justifiable concern. I mean, it sounds pretty paranoid but America does have enemies.

This research is useless to anyone wanting to create biological weaponry.

Actually, anyone with the right knowledge of biology and facilities can already do what the researchers in the Erasmus MC did based on what's already known of bird flu and genetic modification. The research this is about was merely testing already existing knowledge about bird flu mutations.

Blablahb:

geK0:
Maybe they're worried about somebody using the information to produce bio-weapons or something; that seems like a pretty justifiable concern. I mean, it sounds pretty paranoid but America does have enemies.

This research is useless to anyone wanting to create biological weaponry.

Actually, anyone with the right knowledge of biology and facilities can already do what the researchers in the Erasmus MC did based on what's already known of bird flu and genetic modification. The research this is about was merely testing already existing knowledge about bird flu mutations.

Ah

well I can see somebody with only a layman`s knowledge of the topic being concerned about it :\
Censorship might be a bit of an over reaction, but I understand their thought process behind it:
"bird flu + genetic research = bioweapons!! omg censor!! censor!!"

It's really just a matter of them being afraid of something they don't understand.

Magichead:
large snip

Alright, fair enough. I've given the subject a little thought, but you've obviously given it more. I'll have to concede defeat here.

I think i agree with the NSABB here, there is scientific research into virus' which, if put into the wrong hands could be used to devastating effects that could easily wipe out more people than a nuclear bomb. And of course in future as someone said there are security risks linked with technologies that don't exist yet, like self-replicating nano-bots for instance. This isn't a problem that will go away. So i think there should be regulation to make sure that such sensitive knowledge only goes into the right hands. Perhaps you could have a vetting and licensing procedure where only scientists approved by a political authority have access to research that has security implications.

Heronblade:

I do not in the end mind the idea of controlling detailed access to such topics so long as it is done intelligently and for the right reasons. The problem I have is that not only can I not think of any group I feel I could trust with that job, the US government fails to even approach the "maybe if we're desperate" category.

It's a difficult question i agree, but i think one could create a UN agency which regulates such sensitive scientific knowledge and i would reasonably trust them.

I'm so glad that my country kicked out the Puritans when we had the chance (admittedly we did it too late to stop them ruling the country for ten years but better late than never).

The US government's attempts at censoring information is seriously getting out of hand now and using terroristm as an excuse to do so is just plain despicable. Terrorists are not fucking Bond villains, stop treating them as such.

If I'm understanding this correctly the information in this report could conceivably be used to create a weaponized super influenza strain in nothing more than a reasonably advanced university genetics lab.

The flu on it's own can cause millions of deaths. Like the "Spanish" Flu pandemic, 50 million dead, and that's just a natural mutation, this would be a genetically ideal strain of influenza.

Do we really want everyone on the planet to know how to make a strain of influenza that can cause a pandemic and millions of deaths?

I think it might be a good idea to restrict that specific information, at least somewhat. But how and who I really don't have a good solution, who do you trust with that kind of information?

Do4600:
If I'm understanding this correctly the information in this report could conceivably be used to create a weaponized super influenza strain in nothing more than a reasonably advanced university genetics lab.

No.

Someone else did that and released a paper on it in the early 00's.

What we have now is a study on the natural mutation process of viruses on how they spread from animals to humans... And this is what the Government want to Censor I simply do not know how many times I must repeat that...

The data could be used to crate a weaponized virus but extremely unlikely due to all the other more useful information already in existence else where. This information could be a massive aid to medicine in treating or countering the spread of viruses via increased understanding of them.

Think of it this way:
Its still research into gunpowder but gunpowder has already been discovered... and anyone with the inclination knows how to make it >.>

Volf99:
Nice misleading title, but whats this? The US doesn't want a publication on a virus that could harm humans published? One that could rapidly spread? Oh god, what a terrible idea. /sarcasm

Get serious, the US government isn't the Catholic Church telling scientist they can't say the Earth revolves around the sun, the US gov is trying to prevent the publication of the study of a serious virus from being able to be viewed by those that would use it as a weapon.

Its bird flu. If you wanted a sample to use as a "weapon" you could swab a sick person. Its not hard to obtain it. It isnt like hidden anthrax or smallpox. Its flu. And to be honest flu is so mutagenic there isnt any point engineering flu. Its a terrible idea for a weapon since it changes SO rapidly. It wouldnt do what you wanted it too. I doubt anyone could or would weaponise bird flu. Not to mention genetic engineering is FUCKTONNE expensive and difficult. Ive talked to the guys who do this at Bristol University on my interview and trust me they do NOT have an easy job.

It Seem's like the Land of the Free, is Land of the Free for some.

Wasn't there an article in the BBC or somewhere about a climate report in Canada being censored because it challenged the idea that Canada is making great progress on protecting the environment or something?

Seekster:
Wasn't there an article in the BBC or somewhere about a climate report in Canada being censored because it challenged the idea that Canada is making great progress on protecting the environment or something?

Don't know about that. But Canada did just basically scrap a ton of environmental targets so it could exploit its tar sands instead, and did so very openly.

Agema:

Seekster:
Wasn't there an article in the BBC or somewhere about a climate report in Canada being censored because it challenged the idea that Canada is making great progress on protecting the environment or something?

Don't know about that. But Canada did just basically scrap a ton of environmental targets so it could exploit its tar sands instead, and did so very openly.

Well good for Canada, protecting the environment is fine and good but there should be no reasons why you can't exploit a resource as environmentally friendly as reasonably possible. They are going to exploit resources anyway.

Seekster:
Wasn't there an article in the BBC or somewhere about a climate report in Canada being censored because it challenged the idea that Canada is making great progress on protecting the environment or something?

I found this:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110727/17294715294/canadian-officials-censoring-scientists-whose-results-they-dont-like.shtml

It's a gag order which prevents the people involved speaking out... apparently... is it really trustworthy enough is the question.
I searched the BBC and found nothing so if you want to have an extended look yourself... good luck :)

Comando96:

Seekster:
Wasn't there an article in the BBC or somewhere about a climate report in Canada being censored because it challenged the idea that Canada is making great progress on protecting the environment or something?

I found this:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110727/17294715294/canadian-officials-censoring-scientists-whose-results-they-dont-like.shtml

It's a gag order which prevents the people involved speaking out... apparently... is it really trustworthy enough is the question.
I searched the BBC and found nothing so if you want to have an extended look yourself... good luck :)

I found this from today:

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106834

Comando96:

Do4600:
If I'm understanding this correctly the information in this report could conceivably be used to create a weaponized super influenza strain in nothing more than a reasonably advanced university genetics lab.

No.

Someone else did that and released a paper on it in the early 00's.

What we have now is a study on the natural mutation process of viruses on how they spread from animals to humans... And this is what the Government want to Censor I simply do not know how many times I must repeat that...

The data could be used to crate a weaponized virus but extremely unlikely due to all the other more useful information already in existence else where. This information could be a massive aid to medicine in treating or countering the spread of viruses via increased understanding of them.

Think of it this way:
Its still research into gunpowder but gunpowder has already been discovered... and anyone with the inclination knows how to make it >.>

I've been thinking about this news story recently. I've got it wrong, you can't put anything back into Pandora's box, information is practically impossible to keep secret, the only way to control genetics is through ethical management and regulation of laboratories, which they already do.

As a scientist myself, this kind of censorship is unacceptable. Results are for the benefit of all people, not just a select group. We are not paid to publish our work, we do it because it is the right thing to do (and because if we don't we have a difficult time to convince Universities to keep employing us...).

The thing is, even published, this kind of data would never be see by the public anyhow. How many regular Joes dig through academic journals? Even if they did they wouldn't understand what they were reading.

In effect, journals are already on a 'need to know' basis as a virtue of their very content. Even though I am a biologist with a good few years in science behind me, the contents of a chemistry or physics based journal are little better than gobbledegook to me. So I can imagine how little immunological papers would mean to those without an understanding of immunology.

Do4600:
I've been thinking about this news story recently. I've got it wrong, you can't put anything back into Pandora's box, information is practically impossible to keep secret, the only way to control genetics is through ethical management and regulation of laboratories, which they already do.

Some of early genetics greatest leaps and bounds came from the lab of heartless bastards in Nazi concentration camps who could request whatever the fuck they wanted and if avalible they could preform whatever tests no matter how inhuman they would seem to anyone else. One in particular made many discoveries about the genetics of twins and their development.

Science without ethics and you often find out more things out faster... but there is an extremely heavy human cost... most prefer if we apply ethics.

Comando96:

Do4600:
I've been thinking about this news story recently. I've got it wrong, you can't put anything back into Pandora's box, information is practically impossible to keep secret, the only way to control genetics is through ethical management and regulation of laboratories, which they already do.

Some of early genetics greatest leaps and bounds came from the lab of heartless bastards in Nazi concentration camps

But we all know what happened to them, and it's partly due to the fact that they didn't exercise any sane ethics.

Comando96:
Science without ethics and you often find out more things out faster... but there is an extremely heavy human cost... most prefer if we apply ethics.

While I'm compelled to agree that it speeds things up considerably science without regulation and a measure of ethics doesn't just have a heavy human cost it's also extremely dangerous. These might sound like the same thing but it's not. When I say dangerous I mean you could accidentally the whole human race.

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