A letter to Alejandro Sanz



A letter to Alejandro Sanz, written by Lucas Sánchez , in which he explains to Sanz that his work, the fight against Leishmaniasis, is disseminated through a magazine and that nobody pays him for it: "When I publish, the magazine keeps all my royalties. I pay for publishing," writes Lucas Sánchez, noting that for him, the main thing is to carry out his work and that getting paid for what he says is of secondary importance.

Hello Alejandro,

For many days I've been thinking about the Sinde law, copyright, and reading your unfortunate tweets. Now that I have the three things together, let me comment on a few things.

I am a scientist, researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology and currently Visiting Assistant in Research at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
I work on vaccine development for the third world, focusing my efforts on Leishmaniasis, a neglected disease that kills and disables in Africa, Asia and South America. Yes, those same places for which, from time to time, you can throw a charity bash. And even if you don't know it (and many people don't) it's that disease that causes thousands of poor children to have swollen bellies and die.

That the magazine keeps all my copyrights.

The same one that makes their parents unable to work. Between us, it's the kind of disease that keeps the third world a third world.
When I get my work to work, after many, many hours in the lab exposing myself to multiple health risks, I try to publish my results. Do you know what happens when I do? The journal gets all my copyrights. ALL OF THEM. If I want to, I don't know, put a figure of my work in some other format, I have to ask permission. For my figure. For my work. And I'm talking about black and white figures. In colour we can't afford them.

Do you know why? Because I PAY TO PUBLISH. Yes, really, we do. My lab has to pay to be able to disseminate scientific breakthroughs that can cure those children or their parents in the future. I PAY TO PUBLISH and I have to ask permission for my figure, for my work.Now you could put in 140 characters that fighting for my rights doesn't stop me from fighting for yours; I'd keep reading.
For as long as man has been man, for as long as human beings have been human, they have shown that they need to express their feelings. And that is where art came from. Also, at the same time, the questions of what I was doing here arose. The famous "where do I come from, who am I and where am I going".

A letter to Alejandro Sanz Science and art, they are human

And the fact is that both science and art are human, but not for that reason professions.
Look, I don't know, 100 or 200 years ago. Art was done by those who could afford it. And science too. Even Darwin discovered the origin of species on a tour around the world, when he saw that the finches on some islands had bigger beaks than others. The great scientific revolution came from a trip by someone who could afford it.
Now, through industry, artists get paid to entertain and scientists get paid to discover things.

A marvel for those of us who don't come from rich families and want to do science or art. I have complained a lot about my lack of rights. Of trying to defend what is now, for me, more than a recognised job. And I also create things. The difference is that I have enough with a salary. And I fight for a living wage. I don't think it makes sense for me to be paid later for my achievements. I remind you that what I want is a vaccine for the third world. And pay my bills. I don't want any extra return that I don't deserve.

CD taxes

I don't want royalties, I want my developments to continue to achieve their goal.
I understand that you want to get paid for your work. And you should (which you do) negotiate what a record company pays you to record a new album. Or defend your cache on stage. But to also charge taxes on CD's, hard disks, whatever the S.G.A.E. wants to invent to bleed the average citizen, forgive me very much, but I see it as excessive. Trying to introduce a law that allows you to charge more than your fair share because the industry that treats you well is dying, I'm sorry, but it's not. Limiting individual freedoms to maximise your profit is not fair.

Do you know why I have a popular science blog? So that the world can see that science is important. So that possibly in the future it will be a worthy profession. I am not looking to get rich. I don't want to curtail freedoms. I fight to change the industry that makes my current profession force me to have another one with which, together, I can pay the bills. And please don't compare the rights of poor children to receive medicines with the right to declare anyone guilty of piracy. You've been getting paid for it for too long already. Renew yourselves or die. But don't talk about those who really die, even if they get your pocket money from time to time.

A letter to Alejandro Sanz

Yours sincerely
Lucas Sanchez

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