That price pressure from commercial journal publishers highlights the core conundrum of academic publishing: the conflict between the scholarly ideal of universal, open sharing of information, and the economic model of business: to make money by selling things.
Partly inspired by the experience, BSSRS staff member David Dickson later wrote in New Scientist magazine calling for “Community Science Resource Councils”. The idea, which sadly never took off, was a sort of scientific equivalent of legal aid. It would have provided scientific knowledge and technical expertise to minority and under-represented groups, and also allowed them a greater chance to shape what questions get asked and answered by science. “Perhaps the greatest gain would be in public education,” he wrote. “Members of the community would be able to answer back.”
People today often call for evidence-based policies, but the problem is that the power to collect evidence isn’t evenly distributed. In the 1970s, BSSRS worked to change this – and build a science for the people.
There are some fun parts to this story, which was passed to me in an internal email thread today. Especially great in the context of land grant universities.
research found that being in a situation where you are trying to concentrate on a task, and an email is sitting unread in your inbox, can reduce your effective IQ by 10 points.
Wilson showed that the cognitive losses from multitasking are even greater than the cognitive losses from pot‑smoking.