No Insults Intended, But...

Keith Elliston elliston at av8tr.UUCP
Mon Feb 11 09:41:34 EST 1991


(Ongoing discussion of academics vs. industry...)

In article <Feb.10.23.02.04.1991.6193 at genbank.bio.net>, kristoff at genbank.bio.net (David Kristofferson) writes:
> I would hope that American academic
> institutions would work more closely with industry because the net
> result could be mutually beneficial.  However as long as industry is
> viewed in academics as a "weekend league" this country will continue
> to shoot itself in the foot.

I have been watching (reading) this little debate, and have just a couple
of things to say.  First, neither of the 2 views offered on academia and
industry are either typical (in my view), or are a good representation of
the current situation.  Second, I think that the view most people have
of industrial science are very outdated.  In fact, in the past 4 years
(which is the same number of years I have spent in industry) the best
science that I have personally seen, has been industrial science.  I
have been witness to some of the absolute best in collaborations,
cooperation, and innovation that I have ever seen, in any setting.

I don't want to go on spouting my views, and giving all my viewpoints, but
I do want to say that industry has really taken up the slack in science
lately, particularly in biotechnology.  A large amount of the research
funding in the area has come from industrial sources, and industrial
labs are doing a large amount of basic research that is being published
and is available to the world.  I saw the most backward scientific efforts
in academia when I was there, and saw people backstabbing, stealing ideas,
and abusing graduate students and Post-docs for their own personal gain.
At least in industrial, the merit system seems to work.  People tend to
get credit for their own work, and are rewarded for it.

Don't think that real science (what is that anyway???) is only done in
academia.  The best science I have seen of late has been done in the
industrial setting, and I don't think that I will ever consider
going back into academia for this very reason.

Take a look at all sides, look at the number of high quality research 
papers coming for industrial or industry supported labs (Roche Inst,
Merck, Monsanto, DuPont.... just to name a few).  Compare these to
the bastions of academic research, and I think you may be surprised.

My $0.02.

Keith Elliston

-- 
Keith O. Elliston          elliston at av8tr.UUCP           elliston at msdrl.com
AA5A N9734U                elliston at mbcl.rutgers.edu     elliston at biovax.bitnet

"Fly because you have to, to keep some semblance of sanity."



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