Thursday, October 14, 2010

Group challenges independence of research contracts

Contracts awarded to several universities by major oil companies to study alternative energy lack safeguards for academic independence and scientific objectivity, according to a report to be published Thursday by the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington research and advocacy group. The report examines 10 contracts, ranging from $2.5 million to more than $300 million, that govern the corporate-backed energy research at several major universities, including UC BERKELEY, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University and UC Davis. University representatives immediately took issue with the report. GRAHAM FLEMING, VICE CHANCELLOR FOR RESEARCH AT BERKELEY, questioned the report's fundamental premise that the reality of the research and the university's relationship with a corporate funder could be gleaned from a contract alone. More>