Where Does Open Science Lead Us During a Pandemic? A Public Good Argument to Prioritize Rights in the Open Commons

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (1):11-24 (2021)
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Abstract

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, open science has become central to experimental, public health, and clinical responses across the globe. Open science is described as an open commons, in which a right to science renders all possible scientific data for everyone to access and use. In this common space, capitalist platforms now provide many essential services and are taking the lead in public health activities. These neoliberal businesses, however, have a problematic role in the capture of public goods. This paper argues that the open commons is a community of rights, consisting of people and institutions whose interests mutually support the public good. If OS is a cornerstone of public health, then reaffirming the public good is its overriding purpose, and unethical platforms ought to be excluded from the commons and its benefits.

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