A group of leading scientists are to mount an unprecedented challenge to the publishers that lock away the valuable findings of research in expensive, subscription-only electronic databases, by launching their own journal to give away results for free. \nThe control of information on everything from new cancer treatments to space exploration is at stake, while caught in the crossfire are the world's publicly funded scientists, some of whom will soon face a choice between their career and their conscience. \nOn one side of the conflict stand major multinational publishing houses like Elsevier Science that package scientific findings into hundreds of specialist journals and sell them for thou-sands of dollars a year. On the other is a new publishing group called the Public Library of Science (PLoS) that will distribute its journals for free and is backed by top scientists, including the British Nobel prize winners Paul Nurse and Sir John Sulston. \n"The publishers are making a lot of money out of our research and it's not fair that lots of good, basic science isn't available to everyone," said Julie Ahringer, a biologist at Cambridge University. "Knowledge should be free." \nAhringer is on the editorial board of PLoS Biology, the group's first journal due to be launched on Oct. 13. With articles about the genetic origins of elephants and molecular signalling in the fruit fly, it is unlikely to displace Cosmopolitan and FHM from the newsstands. But those behind the new venture have their sights on an equally ambitious target: convincing existing publishers to change their ways and join them in making more information freely available. \nWhile PLoS Biology is not the first open access scientific journal, it is the most high-profile and best supported so far, and, crucially, it is financed by a grant of several million dollars from an American charity foundation.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”