Commercial Influences on Scientific Research are Detrimental

Subject: Science
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 664
Topics: Biotechnology

The government policies in the UK and the US have changed scientific research and academic considerations in the last 20 years. This has created a collation of scientific research and business in most firms in these countries. Before the emergence of the biotechnology industry in the world, science and business were categorized differently and each operated independently. The business world had to influence the use of research and that made the two to be different because most of the research was carried out by the non-profit organizations, universities and also government laboratories. With the emergence of the biotechnology sector, research and business were integrated together and that saw most of the operations in the scientific word being funded by businesses. The development of the biotechnological field saw the expansion of scientific and also it saw the expansion of business altogether. This proved to be detrimental in the operation of business and scientific research alongside it.

Most of the universities existing today have been pushed to their limits and that has made most of them to adopt a commercial approach by withdrawing their patent rights in order to suit the research being carried out for economic gains. This shows that most of the researches done in most universities today have been spearheaded by some of the top organizations and that is critical to the development of scientific research to better solutions for the general public. Research has been narrowed towards solving some of the short term goals and avoiding the long term goals of satisfying the public interests because most of the funding the scientific research gets comes from the businesses. Most of the disciplines in universities have been intertwined with the business requirements and that has made most of the courses to lose their independence. For instance, some areas of study like geology and chemical engineering have been linked directly to the business world because they receive direct funding from the industrial sector in order to carry out effective research for the development of the businesses (Slaght, 2006). Such problems of maintaining a direct contact with the business field have raised major concerns because the business world can easily undermine the reliability as well as the quality of research.

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Business has eroded the desire of carrying public research agendas in order to satisfy the public interests. Most of the governments in the world are increasingly focused towards delivering some of the most competitive services and the interest has been totally altered through the board of directors in most of these businesses who provide funding (Slaght, 2006). This has made most of the research projects aimed towards the public interests like the social and environmental research to be lost out to the business researches as a result of the commercial power of such organizations. For instance, the use of genetics in agriculture has been majorly influenced and funded by the public and private sector not because it is the best but because of the commercial gains. Some of the low technology solutions in the agricultural field have been totally ignored in order to suit the research on genetics.  

According to Nancy Olivieri who was a researcher at the Toronto University, a company funded a research project to develop medication to a disease named thalassemia (Parkinson and Langley, 2009). After further research, it was found out the drug which they had developed had some high levels of toxics in it and it was considered unsafe for consumption. However, the company blocked the researcher from making some public announcements on the harmful effects of the drug. That was against the ethical concerns of most doctors and it proved that business involvement in scientific research was detrimental. 

Therefore, it is important to form a panel to monitor most of the scientific activities in order to make sure they all serve the public interests as well and that can improve the levels of transparency in scientific research and its involvement in business.

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  1. Slaght, J. (2006). Is business bad for science? University of Reading, 14-16.
  2. Parkinson, S., & Langley, C. (2009). Stop selling out science to commerce. New Scientist, 204(2733), 12–13.
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