Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The doyen of Open Access in India

Met with Subbiah Arunachalam, the doyen of Open Access in Science. He must be in his 70s, but his passion and enthusiasm for Open Access always amazes me. I asked him how he got interested in this area, and he said that when he was at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), he wanted access to a journal, Surface Science, and asked a friend of his in the US to send him a copy. His friend quietly subscribed him to the journal, and Arun started getting the copies. When Arun looked at the cost of the journal, he was shocked, and realized that even IISc could not afford to subscribe to this journal. That lead him to stumble upon the Open Access movement, which aims to make scientific, and other kinds of literature freely accessible. Arun, then started writing to politicians, bureaucrats and academics on Open Access, and got many people interested in the subject. I think he is a great example of how one person with passion and drive can make a great difference. A big salute to you, sir!