Scientific research, considered to be the absolute study by universities or other non-commercial institutions, is now becoming commercialized gradually. However, the involvement of business into the professional studies brings more negative impacts than positive ones. Apparently, some special areas that are popular with commercial industries, are now suffering difficult challenges. Therefore, this essay will emphasize how businesses influence science negatively.
Indeed, the involvement of commercial companies influences both scientists’ independence and the relevant balance of different areas. Firstly, scientists who are engaged in some areas being sponsored by commercial institutions appear to lose certain parts of their patents and be more dependent on businesses. For example, it is clear that almost all engineering department in the UK have received funding from the arms industry (text 3a, lines 27-30).
Meanwhile, the research scientists carrying on would be required to consider commercial interests more than public needs. Some scientists would be limited to express their own concerns, such as Nancy Olivieri, who is the haematologist of university and have been stopped to publicize her own concerns of the drug toxicity (text 3b, lines 64-66). Secondly, in terms of short-term interests, most companies prefer to participate in some research that is intended to be immediately profitable so that other areas that need a long-term study would be neglected.
Definitely, it is so hard for those studies that focus on environmental problems, such as ‘blue-sky’ research and ‘low-input’ agriculture, to gain adequate support from businesses. Even if these research are low-cost and public would benefit lots from them, few companies are willing to cooperate with these studies (text 3a, lines 70-74). Although the excessive involvement of business could be increasingly detrimental, some areas will not worry about the fund any more if they can gain more support from business.
To avoid the conflict between business and scientific research and to harness the commercial interest effectively, review panels can be set up to protect both science and public (text 3b, lines 120-125). In conclusion, the negative participation of businesses are now considered to be an obstacle to some extent, but what the social needs most should be an appropriate control from government to balance the commercial and public interests. However, the fact that the commercial behavior brings so bad impacts on the scientific environment cannot be neglected, so that we should approach the conflicts between them.
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