Why are publicly-funded scientists allowed to keep their work secret?

Ron Arnold writes in the Washington Examiner:

Who owns taxpayer-funded science? From the way many scientists behave, it’s not the taxpayers.

Many scientific studies funded by federal agencies – through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, particularly those used to justify the most horrendous regulations – hide the guts of the science.

What the scientists keep secret is the raw data they obtain in the real world and the methods they use to interpret it, as if those were personal possessions.

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2 thoughts on “Why are publicly-funded scientists allowed to keep their work secret?”

  1. If PUBLIC funds paid for the research, the PUBLIC OWNS the research. Only in special cases should like military secrets so the research be classified….

    OOPS sorry military secrets shouldn’t be classified either. Just ask Bill Clinton who sold our technology to China.

    Clinton Approves Technology Transfer to China

    How China Conquered America a dateline for Clinton’s technology transfer

    USChina.org: 2012 technology transfer

    Chasing the Dragon: Clinton’s China Policy
    …In return for campaign contributions [from China], the President shifted regulation of technology exports from the State Department to the free-wheeling Commerce department. The administration also relaxed export controls and allowed corporations to decide if their technology transfers were legal or not. When easing restrictions wasn’t enough, Clinton signed waivers that simply circumvented the law. The President’s waivers allowed the export of machine tools, defense electronics, and even a communications system for the Chinese Air Force.

    Clinton even involved the Department of Energy, caretaker of our nuclear weapons, in his fundraising schemes. In 1994 and ’95 then Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary accompanied Johnny Chung, John Huang, Charlie Trie, and Bernard Schwartz on trade missions to China. Shortly afterward the DOE relaxed security at US weapons labs. Wen Ho Lee, an ethnic Chinese physicist assigned to Los Alamos, illegally transferred data on nuclear warheads to his private computer files.

    In June of 1995, the CIA learned that China had stolen the crown jewels of our nuclear arsenal, including the neutron bomb and the W-88 miniaturized warhead. Later that year National Security Advisor Anthony Lake is briefed on the thefts. He is replaced on the Security Council by Sandy Berger, a former lobbyist for the Chinese government. In June of 1996, before Bill Clinton’s re-election, the FBI opens a formal investigation into the theft of US nuclear weapon designs…..

    It would seem the only ones NOT ALLOWED to see the research are the American Public!

  2. There are several possible reasons for keeping secret the work of scientists funded by the government. One reason is national security and another (trickier) is that it involves proprietary information owned by a person other than the government. On the face of it, EPA research is probably not related to national security. But it is conceivable that EPA’s work might involve the use, under conditions of non-disclosure, of information owned privately. In the latter case, that specific information might be redacted from the work and the remaining portion made available to the public.

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