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On open access, open science and Congress

Yesterday, I heard about a bill introduced in December in the House of Representatives entitled the "Research Works Act." The bill catalyzed an open conversation on Twitter between Tim O'Reilly and Darrell Issa about H.R. 3699.


  1. You can read the bill at, GovTrack or OpenCongress using the links below:
  2. Alexis Madrigal, the Atlantic's excellent technology editor, brought the bill -- and its sponsors in the House -- to my attention in two tweets yesterday:
  3. When I looked at what other people were saying about the bill, I found that my publisher, Tim O'Reilly, had shared his opposition to it in the morning:
  4. .... and that Tim had directly engaged Rep. Issa about why he'd authored the bill:
  5. Rep. Issa, who has became one of the most voluble congressmen on Twitter over the winter as the debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act has moved forward, replied and said he'd respond.
  6. And he did, a few hours later, in this series of tweets:
  7. On Friday, Tim responded:
  8. Tim was referencing tweets to Rep. Issa by Michael Nielsen, an proponent of open science. Nielsen is also a pioneer in the field of quantum computing, which is a decent 21st century parallel for calling someone a "rocket scientist" 100 years ago.
  9. TEDxWaterloo - Michael Nielsen - Open Science