ERIC Number: ED233722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Freedom of Scientific Information. Science Information Paper No. 19.
Gregory, J. G.
This paper describes why freedom of information (FOI) is important to scientists, the restrictions which the Official Secrets Act of 1951 places upon release of information by public officials in New Zealand, reasons for covert official resistance to FOI as suggested by information science literature, and how changes in the economic management of science along with exemptions provided in a recently introduced Official Information Bill will undermine achievement of true FOI in New Zealand. Issues discussed include the importance of information in post-industrial societies, the effect of government policy on the free flow of scientific information, the relationship between power and control of information, the economics of information, and the implications of a trend toward privatization of government scientific activities as a means of insuring a return on taxpayer investment. It is concluded that prospects for true freedom of scientific information are poor unless New Zealand politicians see it as giving them greater control of government research accountability and unless they are willing to reduce the number of exemptions in proposed FOI legislation and to subject themselves and government scientists to independent judicial review. (ESR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New Zealand Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, Wellington. Science Information Div.
Identifiers: Freedom of Information; Information Flow; New Zealand; Scientific and Technical Information
Note: Paper presented at the Pacific Science Congress (15th, Dunedin, New Zealand, February 2-11, 1983).