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Taking a principled approach to envy

15 April 2016 No Comment
English: envy- 7 deadly sins

Envy: 7 deadly sins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I saw the anonymous piece “Openness is Inclusivity” it both struck a chord and made me uncomfortable. Striking a chord because I’m increasingly concerned about the institutionalization and centralization of Open Science activities. Uncomfortable because it comes across as an attack, and an anonymous one at that, on one organization.

The Centre for Open Science has done a lot of good work, had a lot of success and brought in a lot of money to run a large operation. I think I have generally argued in favour of smaller groups over large ones because I believe that’s a better approach over all. But it’s more than fair to ask when a big group is conventionally successful, is any disquiet just really based on jealousy of that success? In any case if there’s a real issue here its not about CoS, but about the way we are building our institutions as Open Science becomes mainstream.

I think it’s always better to dig down into principles. And that’s why I got involved in writing this response. As a way of asking what we want the system to look like. The focus on the question of diversity is a principle we can base an argument on. Those principles can help us think about design patterns and approaches that will build the system we want.

And I can go back to being comfortable being jealous of the success of CoS. Because really who wouldn’t be? And if I disagree with specific things that they do, I’ve got a grounding sense of how to tell what are real issues and what is just envy.

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