Well, I think Shannon and the rest said it all. They did the deconstruction haha
I think Shannon’s idea of asking journalists to read the manifesto is a good one. It might help journalists at least have a clearer idea how diverse and non-conforming (and annoying hehe) we can be.
I’m not too sure but when a journalist asks you for an interview I guess there is a chance to assess in advance whether she/he gets some key points or not after reading the manifesto or if the editorial of the specific media platform kind of fits. If not then maybe is better not to get quoted, let them do their thing without “endorsing” (not sure this is the right word) them. Anyways, I think this is material for a session in China, hope you guys get to talk about it at some point.
Overall, I think the “high priests” issue pointed out by the others here is the key problem with the article.
Does anyone has or knows of a list of media platforms with investigative journalism? Maybe that’s one of the resources we should have at hand. In Chile, El Desconcierto (http://www.eldesconcierto.cl/) is one platform I could have good access to (although at present they don’t do investigative journalism really…) because one good friend (and OSH supporter) is part of the board.
Anyways, a couple of extra deconstruction points (only as documentation haha, the summaries given by gustavo, shannon, rachel, etc. are better):
The first 5 paragraphs do not say anything about developing countries. Yet they get mentioned as the main context to be investigated in the very first paragraph (the one in bold).
Then, under the “Joy in sharing” secondary headline only Europeans get quoted, and no word about developing regions or anything related. So, there we are in paragraph number 12 and nothing about what’s supposed to be the key line of inquiry… And again, it’s great work what Tom and the rest do, and they need and deserve to be interviewed, quoted, etc. etc. This critique is not about them.
Then it came the secondary headline “International community”. I was here expecting some delving into our “South” but no, instead a killer phrase that sounded like: oh, only europeans are part of the community and they are so charitable towards the poor developing world: “Bowman’s desire to make something that could be used in developing nations is a common theme among members of the open-science hardware community.” And is all charity like stuff -cool stuff but again the voices of those in Africa or other regions are nowhere to be seen (no mention of Latin America and the Caribbean in the article). In the paragraph where Andre Maia gets quoted, at the end it says: “On the last day of the course, the delegates disassembled the 3D printers and each group took one home.” There was a chance here to give it the stated direction to the article!, like: who were those delegates? what happened to those printers? That could have been a rather easy lead to follow but no.
Then a maybe more promising start: “But how easy or feasible is it for scientists in the developing world to take on these approaches? Ihab Riad, a physicist at the University of Khartoum in Sudan is one of a growing number of African scientists starting to build their own hardware.” Note the “growing numbers”. Had I been the editor I would have asked: well, who are they, where are they, are thy part of local institutions? What do they say…
“Overall, open-science hardware is now a sizeable albeit niche activity, mainly driven by enthusiastic scientists in the developed world. It has allowed them to create bespoke equipment and conveniently print small accessories.” Now, this is one big conclusion “mainly driven”, one that’s not properly supported in the article.
“But in the developing world, and particularly Africa, open-science hardware could make a real difference to scientific progress”. Well, the author said before “a growing number of African scientists starting to build…” and then in here the author says there is potential, but not actual work going on.