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Competition Comes First

Article <56levm$>
Subject: Re: Hale Bopp photos
Date: 16 Nov 1996 22:24:54 GMT

In <minnie-1311962031050001@> writes:
> > Data taken by HST is indeed held private for 1 year. This 'embargo' gives
> > the astronomer that made the proposal a chance to reduce and analyze the data.
> > Time (and money!) on HST is very competitive, so it is in the community's
> > best interest to put the data on hold for a year. Getting a proposal passed
> > to observe on HST is an arduous and time-consuming task. If they simply
> > released the data immediately no one would ever propose anything!
> >
> Maybe I'm confused here... you're saying that knowledge is postponed in
> favor of competition?

No, the competition comes first - in the proposal process. Then the data are reserved to the successful proposer, in favor of knowledge. The one-year limitation can be a powerful incentive to get busy with the analysis and interpretation of your data, before they become public domain.