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Michael Eisen on Technology

 

 


Patents are destroying the soul of academic science

The soul of academic science is being destroyed, one patent at a time. Nowhere is this more evident than in the acrimonious battle between the University of California and The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT over who owns the rights to commercialize gene & genome editing systems based on the CRISPR immune system of bacteria. Both claim to have invented the technique first, for what has the potential to be billions of dollars in royalties down the road.

The academic quest for patents is no longer the side story. Where once technology licensing staff rushed to secure intellectual property before scientists blab about their work, patents now, in many quarters, dominate the game. Experiments are done to stake out claims, new discoveries are held in secrecy and talks and publication are delayed. But the most worrying trend has been the willingness of some researchers & research institutions to distort history, demean their colleagues and misrepresent the scientific process to support these efforts.

Source: 2018 California Senate race website, MichaelEisen.org , Feb 20, 2017

Government should be a partner, not just a funding source

Michael Eisen--an evolutionary biologist who studies flies at the University of California, Berkeley, a co-founder of the pioneering open-access journal Public Library of Science, and a prolific Tweeter with more than 20,000 followers--is running for the USSenate. He announced he intends to compete for the California Senate seat that has been held for a quarter-century by Dianne Feinstein (D), who has yet to announce whether she will run for re-election in 2018.

Eisen says that he's one of a growing number of scientists who, in response to the election of President Donald Trump, have decided that their political activism has to rise above simply lobbying for more funding. "Too much of the scientific establishment looks at the government as a bank--that the primary thing we should worry about is can we get the right amount of money out of Congress," he says. "Too few people focus on the fact that science needs to be a partnership with the public for it to thrive."

Source: Science Magazine on 2018 California Senate race , Jan 27, 2017

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Page last updated: Sep 01, 2017