- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Cape man accused of secretly recording women, posting to porn site (11/22/17)
- Thankful People: Kirsten Strebe recovers from traumatic car accident, brain injury (11/23/17)
- Cape attorney Brandon Cooper to run for judge (11/20/17)2
- Thankful People: Moore family counts its blessing after harrowing accident (11/23/17)
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Deal Finder brings 'unique' shopping to Cape Girardeau (11/24/17)
- The Tungsten Groove to release first album featuring original songs (11/17/17)
- 1 dead, 3 hurt in accident on Highway 72 (11/19/17)
Academy of Sciences to hold summit on limiting scientific publi
WASHINGTON -- Concerned that researchers may be publishing information that might be useful to terrorists, the National Academy of Sciences is planning a meeting to discuss whether researchers should withhold some information from publications.
Ronald Atlas, president of the American Society for Microbiology, proposed the meeting in a letter to Academy president Bruce Alberts.
Atlas said his society has been asked by some authors to allow them to withhold information out of concern that it might be misappropriated or abused.
Such a step runs counter to current policies in the scientific community, which generally require researchers publishing their findings to include enough detail for others in the field to duplicate their results.
Indeed, it is through that process of duplicating and building upon published research that scientific progress continues.
"Science, by its definition, is supposed to be repeatable and if we permit publication of manuscripts that lack sufficient detail ... we will be undercutting science and we're not prepared to do that," Atlas said.
In cases where an editor thinks there may be national security problems, the society has a policy of calling a meeting to discuss whether to publish the article, he said.
An example, Atlas said, might be if a scientist developed a molecular method for detecting smallpox or anthrax and did not want to disclose details of how it is done.