Collaboration Commodification

Brian Hawkins has some thoughts on the mathematician who auctioned off his services as a co-author on eBay.

In response to a math professor in Spain who believes that "Nobody should pay anybody for writing or collaborating on a scientific project," Hawkins writes, "I guess academics in Spain live on the goodwill of the people?"

Why is it okay for universities and private endowments to fund research (and thus reap the benefits of associating with prestigious researchers) but it isn't okay for an individual academic to do the same thing through eBay?

Perhaps, like licensing regimes in the fields of medicine and law, this is just another way for academics to protect their own territory from competition. Hawkins concludes, "I suspect that the real problem he has with Mr. Tozier is that he was operating completely outside the academic system."

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You really ought to link to

You really ought to link to Tozier's fine blog, Notional Slurry, and posts he has about the auction and its place in a well developed conception of open source science, including collaborations. His experience with complexity science gives him a perspective not entirely different from many of Hayek's more insightful observations.