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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Smallpox: The Long Goodbye

Jeanne Guillemin Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
American and Russian officials always insist that their smallpox repositories, under WHO oversight, are well guarded. But experience tells us that scientists working in laboratories with the highest biosafety standards are still caught off guard by technical breakdowns, that their staffs make mistakes and break rules, and that a predictable institutional reflex is to cover up blunders.

Bad Science

Llewllyn Hinkes-Jones Jacobin Magazine
Not only do patents push higher prices onto consumers, they burden the research world with the increased costs of paying for the intellectual property needed to do further research . . . If anything, the neoliberal approach to academic research is a return to the privately funded, pre-tenure origins of the university system when numerous schools were simply research labs and promotional arms for private industry

The Public Deserves Free Access to Research

Michael B. Eisen The Daily Californian
When the Internet began to take off in the mid-1990’s, it created the opportunity to do something scholars had been dreaming of for millennia — to gather all of the writings of scholars past and present together in a single online public library — a free, globally accessible version of the ancient library in Alexandria. But 20 years on and we are barely any closer to achieving this goal.

Method and Madness in Science and Art

Johanna Kieniewicz Public Library of Science
What are the implications for art and science collaborations? Despite popular perception, there are many similarities in the ways that artists and scientists approach their work. Ultimately, the methods and the products may be different, but if there is a mutual interest in, and respect for, the ‘other’ side’s practices, then these sorts of collaborations are likely to succeed. Through this kind of exchange, artists and scientists can learn from one another.
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