Food Supply

Topics: Science, Scientific method, Research Pages: 2 (597 words) Published: August 16, 2013
Name: Fawzi Attar 8/8/2013 PS4

Over the past 20 years, commercial influences on scientific research have become increasingly detrimental. Discuss.

In the last two decades, the relationship between business and science has considerably changed. Before the emergence of biotechnology, business and science operated in largely separate spheres. The business world had little interest in expanding scientific knowledge, leaving research firmly within the domain of universities, government laboratories and non-profit institutions (Pisano, 2006, as cited in Slaght, 2012)). It is clear that the relationships between business and scientists have affected the public interest negatively. This essay will discuss the bad influences on science and solutions, then how business have affected scientific research by giving examples.

According to Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), the academic landscape changed to be focused on economic profit. For instance, universities have been pushed to prioritizing research for commercial interest that generates short-term profit (Ho & Saunders, 2001). Another example, in the UK, many life sciences departments have links with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. This might serve the industry interest (Ho & Saunders 2001). Because scientists will be dependent and they are not able to take patents.

The second issue is that a conflict of interest between business and scientists. Because, scientists interest is to serve the public but industries interest is to make short-term profit. This problem is considered to affect the quality and reliability of the research. In addition, misleading messages by funded companies it might be occurred. For example, research generates results that suit the funder (The Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, p 921). This problem is well known from the tobacco and oil industries. These industries have forced researchers to provide...

References: John Slaght, ISLC, University of Reading, UK, based primarily on Ho &Saunders (2001) and Pisano (2006).
Parkinson, S., & Langley, C. (2009). Stop selling out science to commerce. New Scientist, 204(2733), 32-33.
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