You can, thanks to the researchers behind the most-talked about fossil discovery in recent times releasing research-quality 3D scans on MorphoSource. Any student in the world (whose school or organisation has access to the right printing technology) can hold the bones in their hands.
John Hawkes, a core scientist in the Rising Star Expedition team behind the research, has hailed their work as “a triumph for open access and education”:
The open access philosophy has driven our work on Homo naledi from the beginning. Instead of keeping these discoveries veiled behind locked doors, we have tried to bring them to the public in ways that will drive greater curiosity and engagement with science…
Not only the public benefits from scientific open access; science itself benefits. Showing the process of science in action, we create better tools for educators to equip students with the scientific method.
As we train a new generation of scientists, we must give them the tools to build collaborations and work with massive data. By sharing data openly, we build a worldwide community of practice as we attempt to understand this and other future discoveries.
Read Hawkes’ full editorial post.