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The Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based progressive think tank, released today (Oct. 14) a study concluding that major California universities are raking in money doing less-than-objective research for big oil companies. In ten years, major California universities have done $750 million of potentially compromised researched for major oil companies. Research for Big Oil performed by UC Davis, UC Berkeley and Stanford showed "a disturbing trend of inadequate contractual protection from corporate influence," according to the center. The research arrangements had "few contractual protections for scientific objectivity or scholarly independence," says the study. "UC Berkeley granted BP veto power over all major governance and research decisions," says the study."Stanford ceded governing control to ExxonMobil and its three other industry sponsors."

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Visduh Oct. 14, 2010 @ 1:17 p.m.

As these supposedly independent universities have come to depend more and more upon largess from various sources, they have begun to put out research studies that are politically tinged and thus less-than-credible. There was a time when society accepted scholarship as exactly that. I don't know when or how these universities went from being unbiased arbiters to being advocates for specific points of view. But it was "filthy lucre" that made it happen. So, now they don't rock the boat when a corporation is paying the tab, and definitely don't oppose the government when it commissions a study (unless the government is conservative, but that seldom is the case.)

Generally the researchers proclaim their freedom from improper influence, but they are human, and they also have a price. When universities became big business, this sort of thing was inevitable.


Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2010 @ 4:49 p.m.

Response to post #1: In San Diego and elsewhere, the universities toady to business. They need the financial support. But now businesses are influencing curricula. For example, there is now so much emphasis on biotech. But the most reprehensible effect of this is the slanted research. It's particularly rampant in medical research. Best, Don Bauder


Burwell Oct. 16, 2010 @ 1:30 p.m.

Most of the research performed at the California state universities is a total scam, particularly at SDSU. The only reason SDSU receives research funds is because Bob Filner, Nancy Peloser, and the other politicians force the federal government to grant research contracts to SDSU. Were it not for this political pressure SDSU would not receive a dime of federal research money. Once SDSU receives a research contract, it siphons off most of the federal funds to pay for overhead, bloat, and inflated salaries at the research foundation. Research monies sent to SDSU are being flushed down the toilet. SDSU needs to get back to its core function of educating teachers and abandon its research programs and delusions of grandeur.


Don Bauder Oct. 17, 2010 @ 8:36 a.m.

Response to post #3: If I were an investigator, I would focus more on UCSD, where more research money lands. Best, Don Bauder


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