PARIS (AP) — While the U.S. president is calling for suspending patents on COVID-19 vaccines, experts at UNESCO are quietly working on a more ambitious plan: a new global system for sharing scientific knowledge that would outlast the current pandemic.
At a meeting wrapping up Tuesday, diplomats and legal and technical experts from UNESCO’S member states are trying to draw up new global guidelines under a project called Open Science.
UNESCO’s specialists say the pandemic has shown that sharing sensitive research is possible: Chinese scientists sequenced and shared the genome of the then-new coronavirus in January 2020, allowing German researchers to then quickly devise a screening test shared around the world.
“The crisis put a spotlight on how scientific information is produced, shared, communicated,” said Ana Persic, chief of the science policy section at Paris-based UNESCO. “It is a paradigm shift for the scientific community.”
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