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Commercial science, scientists' values, and university biotechnology research agendas

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  • Glenna, Leland L.
  • Welsh, Rick
  • Ervin, David
  • Lacy, William B.
  • Biscotti, Dina
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    Abstract

    Policies designed to promote the commercialization of university science have provoked concern that basic and publicly accessible research may be neglected. Commercialization policies have altered traditional institutional incentives and constraints, which raises new questions regarding the influence of scientists' values on university research agendas. Our research builds on previous quantitative studies measuring changes in research outcomes and qualitative studies probing differentiation among scientists' value orientations. We developed a nation-wide survey of 912 plant and animal biotechnology scientists at 60 research universities. Our analysis reveals that scientists' value orientations on what we classify as "market" and "expert" science affect the amount of industry funding they receive, the proprietary nature of their discoveries, and the percentage of basic science research conducted in their laboratories. We also find that the percentage of industry funding is significantly associated with more applied research. Our findings provide insights for science and society theory and suggest that strong incentives for public-science research along with adequate public-research funds to preserve the university's vital role in conducting basic and non-proprietary research are needed to complement private-sector research investments at universities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 957-968

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:7:p:957-968

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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    Keywords: University-industry relationships Scientist values Bayh-Dole Act Private research funding Agricultural biotechnology Commercial science;

    References

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    1. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Jaffe, Adam & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt8vh1c20f, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Jain, Sanjay & George, Gerard & Maltarich, Mark, 2009. "Academics or entrepreneurs? Investigating role identity modification of university scientists involved in commercialization activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 922-935, July.
    3. Steven Buccola & David Ervin & Hui Yang, 2009. "Research Choice and Finance in University Bioscience," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1238-1255, April.
    4. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
    5. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
    6. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2000. "Who is Selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of Growth in University Licensing," NBER Working Papers 7718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Wible James, 1998. "The Economics Of Science, Methodology And Epistemology As If Economics Really Matter," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 8(4), pages 18, December.
    8. Frederick Buttel, 2005. "Ever Since Hightower: The Politics of Agricultural Research Activism in the Molecular Age," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 275-283, 09.
    9. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
    10. Kenney, Martin & Patton, Donald, 2009. "Reconsidering the Bayh-Dole Act and the Current University Invention Ownership Model," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1407-1422, November.
    11. Welsh, Rick & Glenna, Leland & Lacy, William & Biscotti, Dina, 2008. "Close enough but not too far: Assessing the effects of university-industry research relationships and the rise of academic capitalism," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1854-1864, December.
    12. Scott Stern, 1999. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," NBER Working Papers 7410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
    14. Beesley, Lisa G. A., 2003. "Science policy in changing times: are governments poised to take full advantage of an institution in transition?," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1519-1531, September.
    15. Walsh, John P. & Cohen, Wesley M. & Cho, Charlene, 2007. "Where excludability matters: Material versus intellectual property in academic biomedical research," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1184-1203, October.
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