The Knowledge Commons : Call for papers open now.


Governing Pooled Knowledge Resources:
Building Institutions for Sustainable Scientific, Cultural and Genetic
Resource Commons

12-14th September 2012

Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium



A variety of initiatives and policies have been proposed that are going
beyond “open access”, and aim to facilitate more effective and extensive
(global) sharing on local and global pools of not only scientific
information and data but also genetic resources and cultural
expressions. There is thus a need to examine a number of these
proposals’ conceptual foundations from the economic and legal
perspectives and to analyze the roles of the public domain and commons
in facilitating sharing of scientific and technical data, information
and materials.

The 1st Global Thematic IASC Conference on the Knowledge Commons aims to
bring together leading people from a number of international scientific
research communities, social science researchers, practitioners and
policy analysts, to discuss the rationale and practical feasibility of
institutional arrangements designed to emulate key public domain
conditions for collaborative research.


. Track 1 on “Scientific Research and Innovation Commons”
. Track 2 on “Digital Information Commons”
. Track 3 on “Historical experience of the knowledge commons”
. Track 4 on “Genetic Resource Commons”
. Track 5 on “Cultural Commons”
. Cross-cutting conference track 6 on climate change


Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Belgium
International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)
Utrecht University, Netherlands


. Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
. Paul David, Research Chair in the Digital Economy, Telecom-ParisTech
and l’Ecole Polytechnique, France, and Stanford Institute for Economic
Policy Research, US.
. Jerome Reichman, Duke Law School, US.
. Gurdial Singh Nijar, Director of the Centre of Excellence for
Biodiversity Law, Malaysia
. Carlos M. Correa, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
of Industrial Property Law and Economics at the University of Buenos
Aires (UBA)
. Charlotte Hess, Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and
Scholarly Communication
. Paul Uhlir, Director of the Office of International Scientific
Information Programs, The National Academies, US.
. Michael Halewood, Head of the Policy Research and Support Unit at
Bioversity International (CGIAR), Headquarters in Rome, Italy
. Eric Brousseau, Université Paris Dauphine, Paris
. Francoise Genova, Director Strasbourg astronomical data centre, France
. Geertrui Van Overwalle, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium


CODATA (International Council for Science : Committee on Data for
Science and Technology) : GICSI taks group on Global Information Commons
for Science
Faculté Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP), Belgium
Ghent University, Belgium
International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)
UNU-Merit (Maastricht)
University of Utrecht, Netherlands

For more details, check out their website:

John Willinsky, Stanford University, University of British Columbia

John Willinsky, Stanford University, University of British Columbia spoke at the new school. His talk is titled, “Does What We Know Belong To All? The Intellectual Property Principles”

The introduction was by Dean David Scobey, The New School for Public Engagement

The New School is a legendary progressive university comprising schools bound by a common, unusual intent: to prepare and inspire its 10,510 undergraduate and graduate students to bring actual, positive change to the world. (

Watch it now! (

taxpayers demand open access publishing

Patient advocacy groups turn to open-access publishing to advance research quest

Washington, D.C. – Pat Furlong founded Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) in 1995 to link families, like hers, who had been affected by muscular dystrophy with both resources and hope. Now, Furlong has blazed a new trail in the fight to end the disease. She has spearheaded a partnership between PPMD and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) to launch an open-access publication, PLoS Currents: Muscular Dystrophy, this month. The story of the partnership is told in a new article released today by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

PLoS Currents: Muscular Dystrophy is a new forum that will promote the rapid exchange of information, hypotheses and experimental results related to the rare disease. Compared to a traditional journal, the PLoS Currents publication process is compressed.

“The idea to make it very streamlined, quick, and hassle-free,” says Mark Patterson, director of publishing for PLoS. “This publication does all the essential jobs of a journal – including peer review and archiving – but it has the potential to do that very fast and, also, much more cheaply.”

For families, the new online journal will give them access to the latest information to help them make the most informed choices in treatment for their children, says Furlong, whose two sons died from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as teenagers. The project will also link scientists and, hopefully, lead to new advances. “I think we waste too much time, effort and money not learning from studies that didn’t produce positive results,” says Furlong. “I think this really will help the community and our goal for Duchenne is to accelerate wherever and whenever we can. We felt PLoS offered significant opportunity to accelerate.”

Furlong thinks other patient advocacy groups will likely follow the lead of PPMD and look to online journals to exchange information more quickly.

“Pat was quick to grasp the possibilities that an outlet like PLoS Currents presents to share all kinds of credible research results more quickly than ever,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC and Spokesperson for the Alliance. “The ability to give a targeted community of researchers fast access to the combination of articles, data, and even negative results presents important new opportunities to make new connections and speed the pace of discovery.”

The full article is available online from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access at

Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2011

Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2011 is the fourth in a series of studies looking at the UK public’s attitudes to science, scientists and science policy, building on previous research in 2000, 2005 and 2008. Ipsos MORI, in association with the British Science Association (BSA), conducted this latest study on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The research provides further evidence that the UK public values science and is interested in finding out about it… The research also highlights the challenge of public engagement with science. Fewer people say they feel informed about science, and scientific research and developments (43%) than say they do not (56%). In addition, while many are keen for the public to be involved in decision-making on science issues, most do not want to be personally involved.

Check out Chapter three, Finding out about science. It would seem that there is an “appetite for knowing more about science” that Open Access can hope to feed.

See details (and reports available for download) at:

Re-imagining Research Relationships – Co-creating Knowledge in a Democratic Society

5th Living Knowledge Conference logoThe 5th Living Knowledge conference will be held in Gustav-Stresemann-Institut Bonn 10-12 May 2012

“This conference will provide an opportunity for policy makers, academics and civil society organisations to consider current practice and future opportunities in the field of research partnerships.

The 5th Living Knowledge Conference will set its focus on different themes to get more insight in processes, and develop specific policy recommendations that resonate with public concerns and articulated research needs and built on the experience and know-how of the previous LK conferences in Leuven, Seville, Paris and Belfast. It will be an opportunity to bring together some of the key thinkers and practitioners in the area of community based research, university/community partnerships and Science Shops and aims at providing options and opportunities for collaborations and ensuring that this area of work is prioritised on policy agendas both nationally and internationally.

The conference will also be a platform to exchange and discuss findings and results of the first half of the PERARES project. PERARES (Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society) is a project which has been awarded financial support by the European Commission as coordination action in the 7th Framework Programme for broarder engagement on science-related questions and structuring public engagement in research.”

I hope to be at this one!