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Regarding Iris Meier's recent message

David Alan Walker d.a.walker at sheffield.ac.uk
Tue Oct 28 21:36:40 EST 2003

In Plant .Ed, Iris Meier recently brought our attention  to  a “new
online course”.  I don’t wish to divert attention from the course
itself, which sounds eminently worthy of support. However, she raised
another matter, dear to my own heart, when she said, with admirable
frankness, :-

“I can't teach it for free (which I would) because the provider of the
online teaching service has to live too, so I will offer it for a
marginal fee of $8”.

We all have “to live too”. Like everyone I know in our business I have
made most, of what I have to contribute, freely available to my
colleagues but there is a residue. If  as a scientist you write a book
and it is published by a major publisher you may get a royalty of 10% if
you are lucky. Publishers have to live. So do book sellers. Both have to
advertise. I have no complaint. But authors and independent publishers
have “to live too” So what if you and I wish to publish something out of
the normal run of things? Publishing ‘online’ is not a problem and look
at what BitPass <http://www.bitpass.com/> has now brought about. But how
to bring our wares to the attention of  potential readers?  Commercial
advertising is too costly to contemplate. May we too advertise on
Plant.Ed . Would anyone object?

>From David Walker, FRS., Emeritus Professor of Photosynthesis,
University of Sheffield, UK.


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