Why the Human Genome Project didn't co-publish with Celera in Science

Paul Hilder paulhilder at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Jun 6 19:57:07 EST 2001

We've just published a reflection by Professor Michael Ashburner of
the European Bioinformatics Institute and Cambridge University. He
talks about the race for the genome and the Bermuda Agreement, and
explains why he wrote an open letter which triggered the HGP's
withdrawal from its truce with Celera and agreement to co-publish.

Here's an excerpt:

"Most, though not all, reputable scientists regard the Celera paper
published in Science as little more that an expensive advertisement, a
form of science by press release. One of the defining features of
science is that it is public knowledge. Only if scientific knowledge
and the methods used to acquire it are freely available, can the
cardinal principle of the reproduction and testing of experiments take
place. It is a tragedy that a great scientific magazine has seen fit
to bow to the will of big business to compromise such a basic

You're all welcome to come and read the article, and to contribute
your own thoughts in response if you want.

The article is at 
(site requires free registration)


Paul Hilder

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