The Conflicted University
Guest editor Sheldon Krimsky, one of the nation’s experts in scientific conflicts of interest, teamed up with Academe editor Cat Warren to create this expanded issue of Academe.
In this special issue, a group of internationally respected academics, science journalists, and other experts tackle what have become some of the thorniest issues facing higher education: corporate conflicts of interest, the chilling of scientific speech and academic freedom, and the urgent need to protect the integrity of scientific research.
From the BP oil spill debacle and ideological attacks on climate scientists and on student law clinics to the troubling influence of Big Agra, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma at universities, the topics covered in the issue attest to the vulnerability of academia to both external influences and conflicts of interest.
But progress is possible, and the role of faculty is indispensible. We hope this special issue will stimulate faculty members, administrators, legislators, and the public to think about the need for more vigorous protection of the university’s core commitments to improving the environment, public health, and public knowledge.
Inside this issue:
“Kneecapping” Academic Freedom: Corporate attacks on law school clinics are escalating.
The Costs of a Climate of Fear: Ideological attacks on scientists undermine sound public policy.
BP, Corporate R&D, and the University: New lessons for research universities, thanks to a catastrophe.
When Research Turns to Sludge: Tying strings to sludge is not as hard as it sounds.
A Not-So-Slippery Slope: Rejecting tobacco funding isn’t rocket science. It’s basic ethics.
The Historians of Industry: What happens when historians enter the courtroom? Mostly, industry rules.
Hubris in Grantland: Languor and laissez-faire greet conflict of interest at the NIH.
The Moral Education of Journal Editors: Disclosure is a necessary first step toward scientific integrity.
Diagnosing Conflict-of-Interest Disorder: How Big Pharma helps write the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Big Food, Big Agra, and the Research University: A Q&A with Marion Nestle, New York University food scientist.
The Canadian Corporate-Academic Complex: The unhealthy collaboration of corporate funders and university administrators.
The online edition of this issue also includes a brief summary of the findings of Big Oil Goes to College, a Center for American Progress report by Jennifer Washburn, author of University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education.