[Top] [All Lists]

AFRO-NETS> Supercourse Newsletter, September 26, 2003

Supercourse Newsletter, September 26, 2003
Marie Curie (1867-1934) b. Warsaw, Poland (née Maria Sklodowska):
"Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their 
work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their 
own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the 
disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that 
it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own 
material profit.
Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they 
do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure 
to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, 
in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to re-
Thank you all for being dreamers with us!!
Dear Friends:
Sept. 19, Hippocrates Results!!
Hippocrates birthday on September 19th was a big success in many 
countries, where it was celebrated as the global day of preven-
Pierpaolo Mastroiacovo, professor of pediatrics from Italy, coor-
dinated the celebration of this important event through announc-
ing the day of prevention on the following websites under his su-
Marcio Estrada from Cuba coordinated the distribution of the 
golden lecture to all medical schools in Cuba. On September 19th 
Marcio presented the golden lecture at the Inter Universitary 
Conference in Granma province. The lecture was viewed very posi-
tively by Cuban audience.
The Golden lecture was also embraced by three countries of the 
former Soviet Union. Eugene Shubnkov coordinated the distribution 
of the lecture and Hippocrates day celebration in the Russian Su-
percourse Center, Novosibirsk, Siberia. Luiza Gharibyan, profes-
sor from Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia, presented 
the golden lecture to the pharmacology students. She also organ-
ized the celebration of the golden lecture in her department. In 
addition, Luiza is planning to publish the Golden lecture in the 
students? magazine. Boris Ledoshchuk, professor of Radiology from 
Kiev, Ukraine, made the golden lecture and other Supercourse ma-
terials a part of the radiation epidemiology course. The golden 
lecture was presented on September 19th at the Medical Academy 
for Post-graduate Training in Kiev.
Golden lecture of prevention was also widely celebrated in the 
US. Lisa Hutchison from UAMS College of Pharmacy celebrated this 
important day with her students taking the course in Contemporary 
issues in pharmacy practice. To her surprise the students had no 
idea that September 19th is such an important holiday of preven-
tion! Cynthia Stone at the Indiana University School of Nursing 
taught the Golden Lecture of Prevention to graduate and 100 un-
dergraduate students at her school.
Dr. Elisaveta Stikova from Macedonia translated and distributed 
the golden lecture in her country. One of her future steps is the 
creation of Supercourse network in Balkan countries.
Dr. Muninjaya from Bali, Indonesia coordinated the global preven-
tion day seminar, attended by 115 people. The audience consisted 
of medical staff of the hospital, nurses and midwives, post 
graduate students, undergraduate students of the public health 
school, provincial and district health authorities, Medical fac-
ulty staff, dean of the school of Public Health, and several non 
government organizations. All participants expressed great inter-
est in creating a Supercourse network. With the support of public 
health authorities, the event was advertised in local TV and 
It is amazing how well the Hippocrates was received world-wide. 
We will create a new lecture for next year, and try to reach 10 
times as many students, with your help. We also want to thank 
Hippocrates for all his help.
Paper Back Writer, We all want to Save the World, and Blood Suck-
In the past few weeks I received several questions about our ap-
proach to copy right. One person was concerned about submitting 
her lectures for fear that her University would sue her. At the 
birth of the Supercourse, we too were quite afraid that the issue 
of copyright would hang us and few would submit lectures. We 
found out that the approach we were taking eliminate almost all 
of University concerns.
First, you might want to look at a publication of ours in the BMJ 
titled : Rights, wrongs, and journals in the age of cyberspace, 
we all want to save the world
This was written by myself and a friend who is a lawyer. It is a 
most fun piece. The basic concept is that we could not understand 
why scientist would spend a lot of money to collect and analyze 
data, then spend a lot of time reviewing articles for free for 
say the Lancet, then when accepted, spend money often for page 
charges. After all this we give copy right to billion dollar in-
dustries such as Elsevier press. If this were other forms of in-
tellectual property like a painting, sculptor, a book, a song or 
a patent we would never give our intellectual property away for 
free. We pointed out that we scientists are in many ways like the 
Beatles. Well, this caused a fervour. They asked the editors of 
the "BMJ", the "Lancet", the "New England Journal of Medicine", 
"JAMA", the "Annals of Internal Medicine", "Science", and "Na-
ture" for their comments. One didn't reply and two declined, but 
the other four responded robustly. The four that responded indi-
cated that we were idiots. We knew at that point we were doing 
something good, as when journals are threatened by scientists, we 
are have considerable impact. This article made us think about 
copyright issues. When we designed the Supercourse.
Our approach is simple, the authors of the lectures retain the 
copy right for their lectures. However, they agree to free share 
and exchange their lectures to the students of the world. We are 
like the art gallery, we "own" the outside shell that houses the 
lectures. We are like the shopping mall, the lectures are like 
the goods.
We have had no problem with universities, no university has ever 
complained about our efforts. The reason for this, is that we are 
not, and will not be an e-university competing with them. We want 
to enhance the teaching of their educators.
A very small number of universities are trying the shield and 
control the lectures of their faculty, with the idea that Univer-
sities can make mega-money off our content. Sadly, this is impos-
sible, and it is a mistake as lectures have virtually no intrin-
sic worth. The reason for this is simple. If the University of 
Pittsburgh wanted to make profit off my lecture on the epidemiol-
ogy of diabetes, it would be most difficult. If you do a Google 
search with the words diabetes epidemiology and .ppt, this will 
give you all the lectures on type I diabetes. There are almost 
1,900. Also, in a year?s period, the number of lectures went from 
3.1 to 4.4 million. There is a lecture tsunami onto the web, that 
universities cannot stop. In the next few years all of our lec-
tures will be on the web. With all this free stuff, why would 
anyone want to pay for my lecture. Universities make their money 
on instruction, credentialing and degrees, not on the lectures. 
Preventing faculty from putting things on the web would produce 
an open revolt.
In addition, universities are in a strange quandary, as they want 
us to get our intellectual property out to as many people as pos-
sible, in journals, in books, in national presentations. It is 
virtually impossible to stop. A lecture is not like a CD. One can 
see the disaster that multibillion dollar record companies face 
when dealing with CDs, which are much more easy to stop their 
distribution than our lectures.
Finally, we know of no case where any university or college has 
sued a faculty member for putting their lectures on their sites. 
Please take a look at our BMJ article, you will get a few chuck-
les about it. We would love to have your thoughts.
Gilbert S. Omenn, the next president of AAAS?
Gil Omenn has been one of our faculty for many years. Gill is 
from Michigan and have been very helpful to the Supercourse. He 
is now in the running for the President of the American Associa-
tion for the Advancement of Science. It would be really great if 
he were elected. (Not that we would have any motive... but a AAAS 
Supercourse, where we capture all the lectures of science would 
be most exciting!!!). Anyways, even if we cannot build a Science 
Supercourse, he is a very good person. It would be wonderful to 
have a public health person at the head of AAAS. High energy 
physicists as head of AAAS are fine, but as I listen to physi-
cists for about 5 minutes my eyes start to roll... there is some-
thing most interesting that when physicists tell a bed time story 
to their babies the need a chalkboard to derive differential 
equations about Dr. Seuss?s Cat in the Hat. This time for an pub-
lic health person.
I have never met Gil?but love this line in the statement: ?Educa-
tion is the bedrock of our mission at all levels?. He also indi-
cated: ?We will find additional creative ways to exploit Sci-
ence?. How about a Science Supercourse, to translate the best of 
Science into the classroom?
Thanks again so much, it is great to see how we have been able to 
train the world.
Here comes the Bride: The pictures of Eun Ryoung?s and Gunther?s 
wedding are posted at:
It was a most beautiful set of weddings, with a European style 
and then a Korean wedding. It was most fun. EunRyoung is now liv-
ing with Gunther in Toronto. EunRyoung has been extremely impor-
tant in the building of the Supercourse, especially in helping to 
distribute it through mirrored servers and CDs. We should really 
consider building a EunRyoung-Gunther Supercourse wedding on how 
to do a double wedding!!
John Maynard Keynes: 
"The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the 
old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have 
been, into every corner of our minds."
Best Regards from Pittsburgh: Ron, Faina, Mita, Soni, Akira, To-
moko, Wendy, EunRyoung, Julia, Eugene, Seok-Won, Abed, Rania, 
Sherine, Fred, Deb, Tom

To send a message to AFRO-NETS, write to:
To subscribe or unsubscribe, write to:
in the body of the message type: subscribe afro-nets OR unsubscribe afro-nets
To contact a person, send a message to:
Information and archives:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • AFRO-NETS> Supercourse Newsletter, September 26, 2003, Ron LaPorte <=