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Science is a Gift Economy
Eric Raymond showed us that the culture of open source software is a gift economy, and that one obtains status among peers by giving away things that are useful to the community.
The social aspects of science function in a similar manner. Scientific gifts include:
- Publishing papers
- Giving Talks
- Sharing results
- Meta-informational gifts of service: editing journals, peer review of papers and grants, conference organization
These activities help scientists obtain status among scientific peers. Science is a gift economy of ideas.