The aim was to enable anyone in the community (from professors and pharmaceutical professionals, to undergraduates and school classes) to help solve our most pressing health concerns. […]
Anyone could take part, all the data and ideas had to be public domain, and there were to be no patents. Our lab notebooks were no longer sitting on the bench of a locked lab, but were updated in real time on the internet.
In two key areas (computing and transportation) the comprehensive level of technical and engineering expertise required is far beyond the majority of individuals to cope. Most people are not even aware of the environmental damage being done by computers and vehicles. Silicon ICs require vast amounts of pure water, as well as large quantities of heavy and rare earth metals. Electric vehicles – touted as “the future” – require large quantities of neodymium (for the magnets), copper (for the motors) and lithium (for the batteries). Neodymium is found only in deposits that are surrounded by radioactive isotopes, and requires a THOUSAND litres of boiling sulphuric acid to purify just one kilogram of neodymium.