Last week I had a useful day at The Genome Analysis Centre, discussing the scientific opportunities for the Norwich Research Park and more generally. I also participated in part of a very interesting event on scientific storytelling, and some of the celebrations attendant on this year’s Diamond Jubilee winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Higher Education, where a welcome number of the winners were from our BBSRC-funded community. We also had a very good meeting with Tim Wheeler and colleagues at the Department for International Development, with whom we already co-fund a number of programmes such as SARID, CIDLID and SCPRID.
Stephen Curry in his recent comments on Open Access (OA) raised some important points relating to OA and the Research Councils, quoting BBSRC as an example (in his opinion) of things not working as well as they should. Anyone who knows me will know that I am a very strong supporter of Open Access and of text and data mining. Indeed, I have blogged quite often about Open Access (and have been known to write scholarly articles such as this and this) on the subject. There is no doubt that significant aspects of my own scientific work would be made much easier if all papers were freely available, and it is straightforward to give examples in areas such as genome-based metabolic network reconstruction, text mining for systems biology, and pulling together disparate literatures and synthesising inductive knowledge in pharmacokinetics, medicine and toxicology. [...]