Ransom Hill Bioscience
visla at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 3 21:38:29 EST 1997
In article <Pine.A184.108.40.2061103172831.87606C-100000 at aix1.uottawa.ca>,
"colossus..." <s535290 at aix1.uottawa.ca> wrote:
>> Either we have integrity as a scientific community, or we do not.
>> If we decide that we do not, then I would like to suggest that
>> everyone without an affiliation might consider stating it. If we
>> disallow commercial suppliers from license to ethics, then it might
>> be good to know that a comment about a technique developed at, say,
>> University of Alabama, is being commented upon by someone with
>> "no affiliation" to the University of Alabama.
>Your analogy is not quite right.
>The difference is that if someone has a kit that they will *sell me* for
>$500, I would rather hear from someone who is *using* the kit and who does
>not work for the company that is *selling* the kit. A company doesn't
>necessarily care about the kit *working for me*, as long as I already paid
>for the kit. If it's a reputable company, they care about satisfying the
>customer, but the customer is "not always right". Most of us have bought
>at least one kit that doesn't deliver the goods and ends up becoming
>wasted money. By contrast, In most cases a researcher that is selling me
>on a technique that they have developed gains nothing financially if it
>doesn't work. If it works they can boast about it to the scientific
>community but there is no direct financial stakes.
>If a company sells me something that doesn't work, they've still got
>my money (unless they are willing to accept that the product doesn't work,
>and that it's not *my* fault that it doesn't work - sure, like that
>happens all the time...).
>Companies are in the fringes of the scientific community, where science
>meets business. They are selling goods and money can sometimes bend the
>truth. Sometimes their products are fabulous, sometimes their products do
>not work as advertised. A company's product costs you both time *and*
>money; a non-proprietary technique only costs you time. It's like the
>difference between commercial software and freeware.
>I don't think we can confuse the two.
Nevertheless, Ed, anyone who lacked sufficient ethics to provide you with an honest answer, would also lack the ethics to refrain from adding "no affiliation". So what have you gained?
I am still convinced that the roots of the practice lie in arrogance rather than anything else.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mohandas K. Ghandi
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