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UC tobacco money ban delayed -- again

University of California Board of Regents postpones decision on banning research funding from tobacco companies, leaving questions about academic freedom unanswered

Andrea Gawrylewski
The recent decision by the University of California Board of Regents to delay ruling on whether to ban research funding from tobacco companies extends a long period of division among UC faculty and administration."There's no unanimous opinion," Laurence Coleman, Vice Provost for Research at the University of California told The Scientist, who noted the main reasons the university's Office of the President and Office of Research opposes the ban stem from academic freedom and maintaining an open-door policy to sponsors. "We have been unanimous in thinking that restrictions on where the faculty gets funding would not be in the best interest of the university."However, those in favor of the ban argue that barring tobacco companies from funding research will actually preserve academic freedom, by preventing the companies from pushing their commercial interests. Indeed, dozens of schools -- including Harvard Medical School -- have already instituted bans on research...

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