Student-Faculty Ties Examined

CHICAGO—Universities should regulate, and possibly even ban, some relationships between students and those faculty with financial ties to industry, says a Harvard physician who has studied ties between academia and industry. His 1985 survey of almost 700 grad students and postdocs in biotechnology-related fields found that a majority believe the benefits of increased financial support of students and faculty by industry outweigh the risks. A little more than one-third were getting such sup

Tabitha Powledge
Mar 22, 1987
CHICAGO—Universities should regulate, and possibly even ban, some relationships between students and those faculty with financial ties to industry, says a Harvard physician who has studied ties between academia and industry.

His 1985 survey of almost 700 grad students and postdocs in biotechnology-related fields found that a majority believe the benefits of increased financial support of students and faculty by industry outweigh the risks. A little more than one-third were getting such support, 20 percent directly and another 15 percent by working with industry-supported faculty.

But the effects of that support on scientists at the most vulnerable points in their careers, and in particular the pressure to keep results secret, are not receiving sufficient attention, according to David Blumenthal, senior vice-president of Boston's Brigham and Womens Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who headed the study. At least 12 percent of those surveyed felt constraints on their freedom...

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