Viewpoint: Can we trust the research of scientists who work for corporations? Here’s what you should know

lead

There is a pervasive bias in academia against scientists who work in industry. It is often said that such individuals aren’t “real scientists.” The less charitable describe them as having gone over to the “dark side.” For at least two reasons, this is a shameful and hypocritical way to characterize industry.

This bizarre phenomenon of seeing shills everywhere one looks has also infected journalism. A team of journalists at NYU, led primarily by Charles Seife, routinely accuse others of malfeasance on behalf of industry. (One article written by Mr. Seife attacking plant geneticist Dr. Kevin Folta as an industry shill was so bad that it had to be retracted.) Yet, while Mr. Seife accuses all those around him of being industry shills, his employer NYU collected more than $1 billion in royalties for just a single drug that it patented and licensed to Big Pharma.

Related article:  Podcast: Synthetic fertilizer pollution threatens our ecosystems. Are nitrogen-fixing microbes the answer?

The fervor with which the “corporate shill” label is applied is akin to McCarthyist zeal. That’s unfortunate. The truth is that if the science is accurate, then it doesn’t matter who paid for it — be it Monsanto, Vladimir Putin, or the Devil himself. Funding only matters if the science is inaccurate. That’s when it’s appropriate to ask, “Who funded this and why?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Read full, original article: Academic Bias Against Industry Is Toxic Hypocrisy

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend