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Premier Li calls for 'global flow of knowledge'

By Li Xiaokun | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-28 07:09

China supports establishing a global system for open access to scientific knowledge financed by public money to achieve the greatest value of science, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.

Li made the remarks in an address at the opening ceremony of the 2014 annual meeting of the Global Research Council, held at the Great Hall of the People.

"China encourages the global flow of knowledge, technology and talent and supports open access to promote scientific undertakings in China and around the world," Li said.

"Science is connected to development, and knowledge is a public resource," he said, adding that the sharing of science is not a one-way grant but a mutual endowment.

The initiative echoes one of the council's two major topics for the 2014 meeting: promoting open access to scientific essays and training young scientists.

One result expected from the meeting is an action plan and statement of principles on those issues.

The council, formed in 2012, includes heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world. It is dedicated to promoting the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration of the agencies.

The council's members administer 75 percent of the total public research capital worldwide.

Notably, during its second annual global meeting in May 2013, the council endorsed an action plan to open access to publications so as to maximize the benefits of projects supported by public spending.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation issued statements on May 15 in support of open access to essays on government-funded scientific studies.

Yang Wei, director of the foundation, said on Tuesday that his organization expects to become one of the world's best sources of shared scientific information.

Pan Jiaofeng, deputy secretary-general of the academy, said the current situation, in which taxpayers cannot freely access the results of work they paid for, is absurd.

"It's illogical. People gather knowledge to have it serve mankind. Why should taxpayers pay to get the results of a study financed by themselves?"

Chen Mengwei contributed to this story.

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