Re: Mobilising Scholarly Society Membership Support for FRPAA and ECA1

From: Andrew A. Adams <A.A.Adams_at_READING.AC.UK>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 22:16:44 +0900

Fred Spilhaus wrote:

> Few if any of us are in this to make money. I consider the society to be the
> guardian of the body of knowledge for our community. There is no other way
> those most interested in assuring that the record of a discipline is not lost
> can assure that will not happen except to do it themselves and that is why
> there are societies.

I'm afraid I part company here wth Fred. There are as many reasons for
societies existing as there are societies. Undoubtedly some have the
principal aim of providing archive, but it is not the principle goal of many.
For most it is the promotion of the advancement of their subject. I know of
few societies in the UK who maintain anything like what could be called a
comprehensive library of their relevant subject matter. Societies exist
because science is inherently a collaborative process. It requires
communication between scientists. When the Royal Society was founded, it was
founded to provide a mechanism for the communication of scientists amongst

In the modern digital era, communication amongst ourselves is being strangled
by a publishing system designed for the "Gutenberg/Caxton era" not the
"Licklider/Berners-Lee era". The quickest demonstrated method of moving
forward is that of Green OA. I fail to see why most societies, founded on the
belief that communication between scientists is one of the best ways of
moving science forward, would be against OA, except where they are confused
(well, let them ask questions - of their members, of the OA advocacy
community) or where they are putting the interests of "the society as an
organ" above those of its members and science as a whole. Any society which
does this should be roundly condemned, as indeed was the Royal Society when a
small group of autocrats opposed the RCUK mandate without consulting the

*E-mail*********  Dr Andrew A Adams
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Received on Sun Apr 01 2007 - 15:48:43 BST

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