Good to see this making Agweb. For many relevant links to articles and more quotes like those below, see the appendices at http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/scisale.htm
Kansas State's Research Comes Under Fire
by Darcy Maulsby
Controversy has erupted at Kansas State University, amid charges that the school and its researchers favor large farm corporations that provide substantial donations to the school.
Some Kansas lawmakers say they will sponsor legislation to establish oversight panel separate from the Board of Regents to examine the university’s research projects. A growing number of farmers and lawmakers want to determine whether Kansas State is fulfilling its role as a land-grant university established to help family farmers.
Some university employees agree that Kansas State’s research isn’t targeted toward smaller farms. Roger McEowen, a law professor at Kansas State, said he is concerned that Kansas State’s research results favor large corporations that help support the university financially.
Presentation riles audience members
Tempers flared at a recent presentation where Kansas State Agricultural Economist Jim Mintert described the benefits of ag concentration.
Mintert said the dramatic decline in the percentage of people involved in production agriculture during the last century allowed the industrial revolution to occur and paved the way for significant improvements in nutrition, life expectancy and income levels.
“The universities are cheering us on, telling us to get closer to industry, encouraging us to consult with big business. The bottom line is to improve the corporate bottom line. It's the way we move up, get strokes... We can't help but be influenced from time to time by our desire to see certain results happen in the lab.”
“All of these companies have a piece of me. I'm getting checks waved at me from Monsanto and American Cyanamid and Dow, and it's hard to balance the public interest with the private interest. It's a very difficult juggling act, and sometimes I don't know how to juggle it all.” -John Benedict, former Texas AM University entomologist http://motherjones.com/mother_jones/JF97/biotech_jump2.html
‘Well I think there is a very real problem from the point of view of university research in the way that private companies have entered the university, both with direct companies in the universities and with contracts to university researchers. So that in fact the whole climate of what might be open and independent scientific research has disappeared, the old idea that universities were a place of independence has gone. Instead of which one's got secrecy, one's got patents, one's got contracts and one's got shareholders.’ Professor Steven Rose of the Open University Biology Dept http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/highlights/000914_whistleblowers .shtml