Science & Society

Large amounts of money are being siphoned from the multi-billion dollar cigarette smuggling trade and going right into the pockets of terrorist networks and international organized crime. 

A United Nations Security Council investigative body, the Group of Experts, has reported that millions of dollars in illicit tobacco revenues are reaching al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations, and is financing Congolese rebels for the recruitment of child soldiers, mass rape and murders.

 The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has determined that 600 billion counterfeited and smuggled cigarettes cross national borders annually. This represents $50 billion in lost proceeds affecting nations throughout the world.

Via GenomeWeb's Daily Scan, some comments on the prospects for citizen science in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Only one of the three appears to be an actual research scientist, but they make good points about the role of citizen science in research. For example, Clifford A. Lynch, Director, Coalition for Networked information:

I'm not wild about the term "crowdsourcing" and I think it's actually important to disentangle the developments.
The last couple of months of organizing the H+ Summit at Harvard University, together with Alex Lightman, Kevin Jain, and all the other collaborators of the conference team, have been very intense. Now that we only have a few days before the event, the smokes starts to clear, and while I am certainly not objective in my opinion, what lays ahead is a fantastic event!
Wikipedia's Science 2.0 Article - I Call Poe

This article was inspired by Hontas Farmer's recent article and the subsequent comments: Science 2.0 - Darwinian Selection Of The Best Paper.

If you haven't heard - and you will, because I will keep talking about it - citizen science is getting its own summit this weekend, when H+ sponsors "Rise of the Citizen-Scientist"(1) ... but that is not all that's been going on.   Citizen Science is (finally) catching on everywhere.   It's the new Prius!

You are an idea-monger. Science, art, technology – it doesn’t matter which. What matters is that you’re all about the idea. You live for it. You’re the one who wakes your spouse at 3 AM to describe your new inspiration. You’re the person who suddenly veers the car to the shoulder to scribble some thoughts on the back of an unpaid parking ticket. You’re the one who, during your wedding speech, interrupts yourself to say, “Hey, I just thought of something neat.” You’re not merely interested in science, art or technology – you want to be part of the story of these broad communities.

Written two years after the catastrophic destruction of World War II ended with the initiation of the nuclear age, Aldous Huxley's Ape and Essence is a graphically violent, sexually explicit, and surrealistic expression of Huxley’s bitter disappointment in humanity.
The Science Of Fiction

Tip of the hat to Eric Diaz for reminding me of the muse.

Long before writing was invented, amazing stories were told through the medium of the ballad and the saga.  Those old tall tales and modern science fiction often have a few common themes - ethics,  morality, gadgets and heroic deeds.  Gadgets run the full gamut  - from the bag of wind used by Odysseus to fill his ship's sails, to the talking computers and planet busters in movies.

Science 2.0 is Openness and transparency.  Those buzz words mean open* access to both reading and publishing and sharing ones opinion on what is published.  Transparency means a process where any editorial decisions that are made are based on known written criteria which are the minimum to keep a science 2.0 website/journal free of spam and pornography.  The only question is how open and how transparent?  In my opinion the answer is that science 2.0 has to be open to everyone who is interested in practicing science.  There should be no initial litmus test based on educational attainment, employment status, reputation, or any other such traditional criteria.  

Before I go on examples of websites that look like science 2.0 but are not quite there yet. 
In the latest issue of Science, one of the outstanding contemporary philosophers of science, Philip Kitcher, in a review of books on global warming, offers this excellent bit of wisdom on science and democracy: