Glaxo Buys Open Science

Glaxo Buys Open Science. Patents Sharing. Promises Full Access. In a surprise move, drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced a secret takeover of Open Science Federation for a purchase price rumored to be almost $500,000 USD. GSK CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said that the takeover was part of a strategic response by the company to release all its clinical trial data. With questioning, Witty admitted that he, and the company’s board of directors, were initially resistant to the suggestion they should “open the kimono”, and show their jewels. However, with many voices calling for openness, and wincing from  a $3 billion USD fine for illegally promoting antidepressants to children, the company decided to look at the idea of openness more closely.“When we realized how little money there was in Open Science ... well, that was when the light went on.” Within the company, the Open Science take-over was pitched as the perfect, cost-effective, solution to their current woes. By buying the whole kit and caboodle, GSK could refurbish its image as a good corporate citizen, prop up its sagging stock price, and most importantly find a way to meet the public demands for the sharing of its data, without sharing anything at all. “Open Science is perfect for GSK. But we’re bringing something to the table too. Our patented Sharing Information Technology System (ShITs), will completely turn things upside down in the open science community.

Illustration for Dr. David Healy‘s post about the vagaries of diving, fishing and looking for real data in the murky world medicine and pharmaceuticals.

See: April Fool in Harlow: Anecdote Fishing in Harlow

And sure, this is an “April Fool’s” thing, but it’s actually based on some truth… If you want to find out more about the GSK approach to “Open Science” and the “sharing” of research data, you can actually sign up for the GSK Clinical Study data program. Once you’ve signed off off on their legal stuff (caveat emptor), you can request access to their trial data. Currently they have about 220 trials listed… a extremely small fraction of the total trials they’ve done. Your request will be reviewed by independent panel who will decide whether or not you can actually see the data. No promises of course! But why don’t you give it a try… I’ve signed up! 😉


Posters: OpenGSK.pdf, OpenGSK.jpg or OpenGSK.png.

Verbotomy launches on “b”, Baltimore’s free daily newspaper

Verbotomy: Are you stuck for a word? Play Verbotomy at b.

Verbotomy, the daily create-a-word game is launching at b, Baltimore’s free daily newspaper. The game has been completely integrated into b’s website ( using the paper’s existing log-in system. Each day, b readers are challenged to invent a word to match the new definition, and vote for their favorites. Winning word of the day is published in the print edition.

The launch with the b is being promoted with the release of a new Verbotomy “movie trailer”, titled “Are you stuck for a Word?” The video features invented words created by (or for) Dan Pink (Johnny Bunko), Amy Sutherland, Kurt Vonnegut and Britney Spears — artists and writers who have all been featured on Verbotomy. The video is also a “call to action”, urging everyone to invent new words “to describe the incredibly weird things that are happening today”. And to do it, not just for themselves, but “for the whole frigging planet!”

See and share the video here:

How Verbotomy Works
Verbotomy works like a three-way cross between a puzzle, comic and blog. Every day we would publish a new definition and comic. Readers are challenged to create an invented word to match the definition, and vote for their favorite. The winning word of the day gets featured with the comic in the print edition.

Here are sample print pages from the first week:

Verbotomy in b
July 22 PDF

Benefits for b:

  1. Integrated Cross-Platform Entertainment: Daily content for web and print editions.
  2. Hilarious User-Generated Content: It’s a showcase for reader creativity and cleverness.
  3. A Social Networking Game: Voting, sharing, groups, and something to talk about every day.
  4. Right-Brain Exercise: Verbotomy is good for you! It’s the daily brain exercise that keeps your creative mind sharp — like Sudoku for your imagination.
  5. Snack Culture: Daily easy-to-digest content fix.

Verbotomy is Easy

  • Easy-to-understand game concept (Invent a word to match the definition and comic.)
  • Easy to manage content and users (Daily content fix which encourages short, funny and focused, user-generated content.)
  • Easy technical set-up (Integrated int site using the same technology as Google Gadgets. Produces daily print-ready PDFs sized to fit publisher print specifications.)

For more details see the Verbotomy Publisher’s Overview

About Verbotomy
Verbotomy is the create-a-word game and comic. Every day we publish a new definition and comic. Players are challenged to create a word to match the definition, and then vote for the best. It’s creative, satirical and quirky, so it’s usually good for a laugh… And as a creative brain exercise, it’s also good for you!

Newspaper publishers use Verbotomy as a tool to build local communities and showcase cross-platform, user-generated content. The game works like a three-way cross between a puzzle, a comic and a blog and can be easily integrated into the publishers site. The online game produces daily batches of short, funny, localized, user-generated content — the winning word of the day and comic — which get published in the print editions.

About “b”
b is the new Baltimore free daily newspaper and website for people in their 20s and 30s. With its companion newspaper, b, the site is an ongoing conversation among our reporters, bloggers and readers, to provide the most complete picture of what’s going on in the area. See :