Space News Business


posted: 20 February 2009
11:38 am ET

Open Access for All

Donald F. Robertson’s article, “A Geological Approach to Astrophysics,” [Commentary, Jan. 26, page 19] was a remarkably lucid description of a rational approach to space science based upon valid geological parameters.

As a geologist with 30-plus years of experience utilizing NASA imagery and supporting data, my only additional suggestions are that such a program be completely open to all interested parties, and that all data gathered be made promptly available to those who paid for gathering same: the American taxpayers.

In the past, data have been withheld for years (or never released) while designated principal investigators completed their taxpayer-funded scientific research. Allowing individual scientists access to such data would dramatically cut costs, would speed publications and would ensure that raw data on which conclusions were based be available to those who wish to replicate published experiments and experimental results. This wider variety of views would dramatically advance science, while making scientific falsification of data difficult to impossible.

Lindsey V. Maness