Big tobacco is pulling its money out of academic research -- kind of. Tobacco company Philip Morris told researchers in September of last year that it was ending its controversial extramural research program, Science linkurl:reported; today. But some funding from the company remains. The news of the ended sponsorship spread this month when University of California President Robert Dynes noted in a February 5 letter to the UC chancellors that the tobacco company had ended its research program. The Philip Morris extramural research program has sponsored 470 research proposals in the US. Funding from tobacco companies has been banned by several research institutions and was much contested by some participating campuses at the University of California, where their sponsorship has amounted to some $16 million. The university chancellors and faculty went back and forth several times, beginning in 2004, on whether to ban research money from tobacco companies (read more...

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