Tag Archives: white house

How You Can Help Public Research Be Free

An enormous amount of research is funded by the government, and therefore indirectly by the tax payers. The vast majority of that research is then published in journals who thank us by charging for the privilege of reading that research. So we, the tax payers, pay for the research to happen, then we pay to find out the results. It’s like paying for the chef to make you dinner, then having to pay more to actually eat it — absurd. There’s one large government agency that has an open access policy, and that’s the National Institutes of Health: every paper published by them is available free of charge. But there are eleven other government agencies with giant research budgets totaling more than a billion dollars that have no such policy, making their research locked behind pay walls.


But fear not, because the future might not be that bleak. As we’ve talked about before, the White House has a petitioning system and someone wrote a petition “to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.” So — especially if you have your WhiteHouse.gov account from signing the petition to abolish the TSA — you can sign this petition and help the chances of attention actually being paid to it. There are already over 25,000 signatures: join in the ranks, for the public good.

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From The White House, via The Reinvigorated Programmer

Petition For The White House To Acknowledge Its Petitions Are Not Petitions

An enterprising individual noticed a pattern in the White House’s responses to the people’s petitions on its website: they’re not treating them so much like “petitions” per se, but more like requests for explanations. For example, the response to the petition to legalize marijuana was to explain why marijuana is not good for people; the response to the petition to abolish the TSA was to explain why the TSA doesn’t actually suck. So the aforementioned enterprising individual made a petition to remove the word “petition” from the White House petitions site and maybe replace it with “request for explanation:”

This website has helped in making zero changes and has failed to carry out its purpose according to the clear definitions it was created by. Therefore, I believe the word, “Petition,” should be completely removed from this site. It is untruthful to all who vote and support commonly agreed upon causes. It is misleading and provides false hope, making people feel like their government is listening and willing to make changes based on the simple rules of, “Enough Votes = Change,” when it will not.

If you agree, go the website and vote on the petition — it needs to reach 25,000 votes by January 14, 2012. And if it succeeds, it will mean that the only petition the White House approved will have been the one that ended the petitions.


From The White House