Future of Science is Being Decided in Aleppo, Syria

Future of Science is Being Decided in Aleppo, Syria

The Science Alert website posted an article on the sci-hub site.

Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge

Here is the ‘he says, she says’ part from the article.

sci-hub is bad -

The big publishers are pissed off. Last year, a New York court delivered an injunction against Sci-Hub, making its domain unavailable (something Elbakyan dodged by switching to a new location), and the site is also being sued by Elsevier for “irreparable harm” - a case that experts are predicting will win Elsevier around $750 to $150,000 for each pirated article. Even at the lowest estimations, that would quickly add up to millions in damages.

sci-hub is good -

She also explains that the academic publishing situation is different to the music or film industry, where pirating is ripping off creators. “All papers on their website are written by researchers, and researchers do not receive money from what Elsevier collects. That is very different from the music or movie industry, where creators receive money from each copy sold,” she said.

Irrespective of those emotional points, the article makes clear that the site has no worry about being shut down, as long as it is deemed legal in Russia.

Astute readers may realize that we are seeing a reversal from the events of 400 years back, when the British empire rose on the back of pirates. Naval trading to Asia was the ‘cutting edge industry’ of that time. If you check the list of pirates during the ‘golden age of piracy’ and before, you will find most representatives from UK and Scotland.

England and Scotland practiced privateering both separately and together after they united to create the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. It was a way to gain for themselves some of the wealth the Spanish and Portuguese were taking from the New World before beginning their own trans-Atlantic settlement, and a way to assert naval power before a strong Royal Navy emerged.

Sir Andrew Barton, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, followed the example of his father, who had been issued with letters of marque by James III of Scotland to prey upon English and Portuguese shipping in 1485; the letters in due course were reissued to the son. Barton was killed following an encounter with the English in 1511.

Spain, militarily the big dog in those days, tried to stop piracy, but lost its naval ships as a result.

Sir Francis Drake, who had close contact with the sovereign, was responsible for some damage to Spanish shipping, as well as attacks on Spanish settlements in the Americas in the 16th century. He participated in the successful English defence against the Spanish Armada in 1588, though he was also partly responsible for the failure of the English Armada against Spain in 1589.

Sir George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland was a successful privateer against Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. He is also famous for his short-lived 1598 capture of Fort San Felipe del Morro, the citadel protecting San Juan, Puerto Rico. He arrived in Puerto Rico on June 15, 1598, but by November of that year Clifford and his men had fled the island due to fierce civilian resistance. He gained sufficient prestige from his naval exploits to be named the official Champion of Queen Elizabeth I. Clifford became extremely wealthy through his buccaneering, but lost most of his money gambling on horse races.

That brings us to today, when it is not possible to stop ‘journal piracy’ without defeating Putin at war. Nature journal may have best recognized the connection given how rabidly anti-Russian its editorial pages went over the last few years (check - Russian Government is Beheading Scientists in Red Square Nature Reports).

That brings us to the war front of today, where NATO countries are fighting against Russia/Iran/Syria through their ISIS proxy funded by USA/Turkey/Saudi Arabia/Qatar. Based on latest news, the home team is losing badly and is asking for a time-out.

Maybe it is time for the journals to draft those scientists, who are staunch believers of ‘high impact factor’ glam journals, and send to the war front :).

Written by M. //