Greasing the academic wheel

Petrochemical companies hold too much sway over research at some US universities, according to a science watchdog group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a linkurl:report;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf yesterday (Jan 21) that surveyed a handful of major universities and found that several grant large oil corporations access to the research and publication processes in exchange for funding biofuel or other global warming-themed research program. Among these universit

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jan 21, 2008
Petrochemical companies hold too much sway over research at some US universities, according to a science watchdog group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a linkurl:report;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf yesterday (Jan 21) that surveyed a handful of major universities and found that several grant large oil corporations access to the research and publication processes in exchange for funding biofuel or other global warming-themed research program. Among these universities were: __The University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois, both of which received millions of dollars from linkurl:British Petroleum.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53835/ Stanford University, which received $225 million from the Global Climate and Energy Project, funded by ExxonMobil, Toyota, General Electric, and oil services company Schlumberger. Georgia Institute of Technology, which got a $12 million grant from Chevron Corp. The University of California at Davis, which got a $25 million grant from Chevron.__ According to the report, questionable accesses granted to oil corporations...
Public Interest released a linkurl:report;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf yesterday (Jan 21) that surveyed a handful of major universities and found that several grant large oil corporations access to the research and publication processes in exchange for funding biofuel or other global warming-themed research program. Among these universities were: __The University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois, both of which received millions of dollars from linkurl:British Petroleum.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53835/ Stanford University, which received $225 million from the Global Climate and Energy Project, funded by ExxonMobil, Toyota, General Electric, and oil services company Schlumberger. Georgia Institute of Technology, which got a $12 million grant from Chevron Corp. The University of California at Davis, which got a $25 million grant from Chevron.__ According to the report, questionable accesses granted to oil corporations included allowing company representatives to sit on university governing boards, letting companies review scientific manuscripts and possibly delay the publication of studies, and giving companies first rights to intellectual property. Some universities (Stanford and Georgia Tech.) have given corporate sponsors commercial and patenting rights for inventions resulting from funded research projects. Some of the universities surveyed by CSPI, however, were given a relatively clean bill of conscience even though they do run oil company-funded energy research programs. Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice, Caltech, and Carnegie Mellon receive research dollars from corporations such as Shell Oil, Ford and British Petroleum, but these universities exercise some policies that limit the funders' access to the scientific process. According to the survey, Princeton generally allowed the least access to petrochemical funders while Stanford granted the most. Merrill Goozner, the director of CSPI's Integrity in Science project and a coauthor on the report, told __The Scientist__ that none of the universities mentioned in the report had yet responded to the findings.

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