Academic Freedom and Academic-Industry Relationships in Biotechnology
Abstract

Commercial academic-industry relationships (AIRs) are widespread in biotechnology and have resulted in a wide array of restrictions on academic research. Objections to such restrictions have centered on the charge that they violate academic freedom. I argue that these objections are almost invariably unsuccessful. On a consequentialist understanding of the value of academic freedom, they rely on unfounded empirical claims about the overall effects that AIRs have on academic research. And on a rights-based understanding of the value of academic freedom, they rely on excessively lavish assumptions about the kinds of activities that academic freedom protects.


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