This is an open letter to anyone who will take the time to respond. What do you think the United States should try to become this year. I’m not looking for a ditzy “world peace” response. I’d love to hear a few well thought out responses. Be fairly warned: I will not allow anyone to post anything that is foul. My disagreeing with your perspective will not denote what I consider foul. Thus, if you say, “I think global warming is real and castles is a big dodohead.” I’d post that. If you take issue with my heritage being partially Jewish, save it for your autobiography or your psychiatrist, cause I won’t post it here.
Here’s mine. I’m reading a bit about Monsanto. I don’t quite know what to think of this business yet, but I will tell you that one thing in particular worries me about the direction my country and my fellow citizens are headed in right now, we are becoming unwilling to demand science. The studies that have been released for public view on various Monsanto products by FDA are woefully lacking. There is a serious appearance of evil in the moving of personnel from Monsanto to the FDA. That may be easily explained by the fact that the pool for folks who can actually do this work being very limited. If that’s the case, certainly, they should recuse themselves from working on research from their former employer. We have to demand this as citizens, else, all of FDA’s research becomes useless. The last thing we need is ANOTHER useless agency.
NASA funded research dealing with global warming was proven wrong by a blogger. The blogger proved the data was a y2k glitch (see http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html). After proving the researchers wrong, the researchers came back and re-released their data saying they had corrected the error. When the blogger requested the algorhythm the researchers had used to correct their data, the researchers refused to release it. Basically, they said, “You just have to trust us.” Hello! NASA belongs to the public. ALL of your research should be open source.
I realize that I’m the least scientific person you’ll probably ever meet. I am also the most serious Libetarian I know. IMHO, though, if your research is funded by federal dollars, it should be open source. If you take government grants, your research belongs to the public. If the US government underwrites your corporation by giving you massive tax incentives, your research belongs to us. If you are taking money from the American Cancer Society for research, the research is open source. Thus, if you discover an amazing cancer drug, guess what? You’re only going to make a fair profit from producing the drugs. This would also enhance competition for pharmeceuticals. It seems to me that if my employer gets to keep anything I discover while I work for her, the same rule applies to you anytime you are working for the US. Yes, I understand that this takes away the profit motive for research. It should force companies to decide between working for profit OR working for the government. You wanna cure cancer and charge $6k for each pill? OK, don’t ask me for handouts.
So, in summary, I believe the United States needs to become a transparent nation in more serious scientific ways. We need to really embrace the concept of demanding what our tax dollars pay for be returned to us.