What History Can Tell Us About the Future of Scholarly Society Journals
In this interview, Aileen Fyfe, professor of modern history at the University of St. Andrews, shares an abridged history of journal publishing at scholarly societies and her thoughts on how scholarly publishing's past can influence its present.
In the 1990s, the Internet offered a horizon from which to imagine what society could become, promising autonomy and self-organization next to redistribution of wealth and collectivized means of production. While the former was in line with the dominant ideology of freedom, the latter ran contrary to the expanding enclosures in capitalist globalization.
Germany's Scientific Texts Were Made Free During and After WWII; Analyzing Them Today Shows the Negative Effect of Paywalls on Science
In 1942, the US Book Republication Program permitted American publishers to reprint "exact reproductions" of Germany's scientific texts without payment; seventy-five years later, the fate of this scientific knowledge forms the basis of a "natural experiment" analysed by Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser.
A unique WWII-era programme in the US, allowed US publishers to reprint exact copies of German-owned science books, to explore how copyrights affect follow-on science. This artificial removal of copyright barriers led to a 25% decline in prices and a 67% increase in citations.
In 1968, a defect in DNA repair was found to underlie a disorder that makes people extremely sensitive to sunlight. This finding continues to influence research into the origins, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
How to Design a Nuclear City: Inside the Secret Cities That Created the Atomic Bomb
The Manhattan Project, the program that developed the first nuclear weapons during World War II, worked out of three purpose-built cities in Tennessee, New Mexico, and Washington state. A new exhibition considers their design and legacy.
The Contraceptive Pill: A Story of Sexual Liberation and Dubious Research Methods
In 1967, Norwegian women were finally allowed to decide for themselves when to get pregnant. The contraceptive pill has had enormous significance for women’s emancipation, but researchers doubt whether it would have been approved today.
It is the universality of science, coupled with a love for knowledge and understanding shared by all humanity, that gives science its power to transcend cultural and other differences. By Fabiola Gianotti, Director General, CERN.
It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech
For most of history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. In today’s networked environment, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible. This should be the golden age of free speech.