Patents,Big business and science
burns at cbl.cees.edu
Fri Jan 19 09:41:25 EST 1996
In the January issue of ASM News[ (1996) 62:8-9] there is an
article in current topics titled 'DOE moves to second round of microbial
Within the first two paragraphs, one learns that the DOE has
funded two private institution and one academic lab. Also, the organisms
to be sequenced were chosen for scientific and commercial value.
My Point: At the Estuarine Research Federation meeting
in Hilton Head,SC two years ago, I presented an ethics paper with my
co-author (J.Love) in a special session which (in a nut shell) stated
that the funding of private institution/ offering patents/providing
profit potential to scientific research may alter the question the
science asks and how they are answered.
It is my opinion that the ASM article is just one of many
scenarios that have proven us correct. However, at the ERF meeting, we
were called naive, inexperienced,wrong and other things I can not print
in a public forum. We received much "heat" from some of our superiors
and from some members of the audience.
I should also add we received some praise as well. ( Nothing is all bad!)
I would like to hear other opinions, especially anyone that saw my session.
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