Re: Lord Sainsbury on the RCUK OA Proposal: Drubbing Peter to Pox Paul

From: Tim Brody <>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 13:03:51 +0000

NB Sainsbury has been succeeded by Malcolm Wicks MP:

While I can glean no information on Wick's likely position on Open
Access, he has been a lecturer & researcher before his political career.
His voting is strongly government line, so if Sainsbury's review goes
against OA (assuming it addressed it) he would be likely toe the line.

For those who may not follow UK politics, Sainsbury has always been a
controversial figure. As the largest donor to the ruling Labour Party,
he received a peerage and from there into government as Science Minister
(interestingly peers - while unelected - can be made ministers, who are
ostensibly the 'executive'). While the owner of several bio-tech firms
his role in government has been at the heart of highly unpopular trials of
GM crops. Ironically GM is so unpopular with the British public that
Sainsburys - the supermarket chain from which Sainsbury has made his
billions - no longer sells GM-based products.

Sainsbury represents the commercial interest through the [alledged]
purchase of influence: it is unsurprising that he would support the
commercial interest in scholarly communication.


Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
> "Lord Sainsbury on the RCUK OA Proposal: Drubbing Peter to Pox Paul
> (began: Nov 2004)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> The following is from Peter Suber's Open Access News, 12 Nov 2006:
> On Friday, Lord David Sainsbury stepped down from his position as
> UK science minister. However we may hear from him on UK science
> policy one more time before he leaves the public stage:
> Lord Sainsbury has agreed to carry out a review of science and
> innovation policies across government - taking a forward look at
> what needs to be done to ensure the UK's success in wealth creation
> and scientific policy-making. He will report to the Chancellor and
> the Secretaries of State at DTI and the Department for Education
> and Skills.
> Sainsbury has been the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
> Science and Innovation in the Department of Trade and Industry since
> July 1998. (Thanks to Matt Cockerill.)
> More news coverage.
> Comments.
> 1. David Sainsbury is the UK official most responsible for rejecting
> the OA recommendations (July 2004) of the House of Commons Science
> and Technology Committee.
> Those recommendations were based on
> extensive fact-finding and in their basic terms have been reaffirmed
> and adopted by just about every other government since then that has
> closely examined the same issues.
> 2. Thanks to a document unearthed by David Prosser through the
> UK Freedom of Information Act, we know that during the time when
> Sainsbury was supposed to be evaluating the OA recommendations, he
> met with OA opponents roughly twice as often as with OA proponents,
> and met with the Reed Elsevier CEO three times more often than any
> other stakeholder.
> 3. As a result of Sainsbury's partiality, strong OA policy in the
> UK was delayed by about two years --the time between the House of
> Commons recommendations (July 2004) and the adoption of the RCUK
> policy (June 2006). And for the record, we should note that the RCUK
> could adopt its strong OA policy only because it was independent
> of Sainsbury's authority, as Sainsbury himself noted in March 2005
> testimony before the Science and Technology Committee (scroll to
> Questions 20 and following).
> Permanent link to Peter Suber's OA News post:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps a grocer was not the best equipped to appreciate the difference
> between research and retail...
> Bravo to 5 of the 8 UK Research Councils for honouring the difference
> just the same! Let's hope the US will have the good sense to do
> likewise with the FRPAA, and Europe, with EC Recommendation A1.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Nov 14 2006 - 13:48:13 GMT

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