Two items recently perused have, in their own separate ways, set me thinking about a debate that should be taking place, but isn't. No, strike debate, it should be a struggle for the hearts and souls of academic scientists. At issue are the behavioral norms that guide the research community.

In the red corner, see the Oct. 9 leader (editorial) in the British newspaper The Guardian. Under the title "Patent Justice," the piece applauds the award of the Nobel Prize to John Sulston, and continues:

"... Sir John's biggest contribution to humankind may not have yet arrived. It was his insistence that the information from the human genome should be freely available to everyone that raised eyebrows-- especially on the other side of the Atlantic, where the ownership of ideas, software code and genes was seen as a prerequisite for a booming 'knowledge economy.'

"Since then the Internet...

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