Remember Aaron Swartz


A hero of intellectual freedom and the free web

Many of us academics often feel trapped in a system that restricts the flow of scholarly information. At the same time, we feel largely powerless. We need to publish for professional reasons, and open source publications are sometimes out of reach due to fees. Aaron had the vision and the courage to challenge a system in which knowledge is chained and made into a machine of profit, instead of an engine for the advancement of humanity. He challenged a system where the actual producers of knowledge have no part in profiting from it, and, to add insult to injury, must themselves pay to share in and build upon the discoveries of others. He was not afraid to champion much needed change. Just as technologists salute his spirit of innovation, academics should look to him as a beacon, helping to show the way toward a day when knowledge can be free for everyone to use.