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Old 12-06-2009, 04:10 PM
jannerfish jannerfish is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default UK Science in peril


Is it correct that publicly funded UK universities should have their research driven by corporate interests? Arch-politician Peter Mandelson is pushing for university research to be guided by commercial interests. Everything that is thinkable is saleable in his view. And he may be correct. But even if everything can be packaged and sold to the highest (or most connected) bidder, shouldn't the marketing of knowledge take place after the fact? And by, well, marketers?

A unversity scientist just wants to do research. Why have we allowed financiers and businessmen to infiltrate every aspect of life? Do we demand knowledge of the periodic table from insurance salesmen? Or insist that all CEOs read Bronte? Sure, every area of life needs to be funded. But aren't some areas of life spoiled if done for ulterior motives? To the extent that they will no longer be doing those things they were originally funded for? University research is the hotbed, and the only possible place, for research for research's sake. No commercial interest could justify that. So it will be lost.

Corporations have (or had) their own research teams don't they? Or perhaps this new drive to commercialise intellectual enquiry is just another move to offset the costs of doing business onto the general public, while keeping the fruits of the research for bottom line. This is just more socialism for the rich and has nothing to do with any genuine belief or desire that it may improve research. Surely?

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