Genomic data should be made publicly available for the promotion of science as a global public good, a new paper argues. Two researchers suggest that a model inspired by the open-source computer software movement should be developed for plant breeding, animal breeding, and biomedicine.
Norman Warthmann, lecturer, Research School of Biology at the Australian National University, Canberra, and Claudio Chiarolla, research fellow at the International Governance of Biodiversity, Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationals (IDDRI), in Paris call for an unrestricted sharing of genomic data in their paper.
“Critical gaps concerning the governance of genomics data need to be filled for the promotion of science as a global public good,” the paper says. The main focus of the paper is plant breeding, but according to the authors can be applied to other areas.
“The possibility to harness gene sequence data in a proprietary manner and to claim molecules, plant traits and DNA constructs, including ones previously existing in nature, may impinge on the ability of others to undertake fundamental and/or applied research.”
The two authors suggest considering copyleft-type licensing mechanism, “inspired by the free and open-source computer software movement.