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E I G H T The Scientific Enterprise M UCH OF THE CONTROVERSY generated by UCB-N stemmed from the potential consequences such an agreement might have for the various constituents of PMB. There were questions regarding the effect of UCB-N on the research directions of faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students: Would the large amount of noncompetitive money from UCB-N lead faculty to pursue and secure fewer competitive grants? What might the effects be for teaching, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels? Many of the questions about the agreement that were posed by DIVCO and other concerned parties to Rausser, PMB, and the administration could not be answered in advance and resulted in the decision to treat UCB-N as an experiment.1 In this chapter we present views of UCB-N from the multiple standpoints of PMB members—graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, staff, tenured and untenured faculty. We also examine the material and cultural consequences of the agreement for PMB, to the extent that we were able to discern them, in order to answer some of DIVCO’s questions. This section ends with a discussion of a number of issues raised by PMB’s close department-wide involvement with a private research corporation. VIEWS ON THE PARTNER SELECTION PROCESS There was much discussion among the PMB faculty with respect to the desirability and shape of any agreement with industry prior to the visits by the C4 E I G H T 110 to companies that had expressed interest in a potentially department-wide agreement. Those most closely involved in establishing UCB-N said it took a while to get faculty to see that it was okay to reverse the usual form of agreements and in effect have companies compete for the honor of allying with PMB. Many faculty members commented on the “endless” discussions on the ethics of such an agreement and whether they should go with just one company . In the end the department concluded that the single company route would preserve the department’s academic freedom, whereas an agreement with multiple companies would be more likely to balkanize PMB. They also decided that IPR would be problematic if several companies were involved. All but two PMB faculty members agreed with the “one company” strategy. Wilhelm Gruissem, former PMB professor and the initial PI for UCB-N, described the solicitation process as open and transparent until the proposals were received from Novartis, DuPont, Monsanto, and Pioneer.At this point the companies were told that the details of their proposals would not be disclosed to anyone other than the PMB faculty and relevant senior administrators . As noted earlier, anyone who wished to see these proposals had to sign a confidentiality agreement confirming that they would discuss the contents of the proposals only with those who had also agreed to confidentiality. JUSTIFICATIONS FOR ENTERING THE AGREEMENT Three different justifications were offered to explain why PMB sought an agreement with an industrial collaborator.Within PMB, only faculty members were able to provide explanations as to why their department sought a universityindustry agreement of the design that resulted in UCB-N. The predominant argument was that scientific research is expensive and that academic units do not have the resources (financial or material) to keep up with private industry in this respect. Thus departments such as PMB require industry funding if they are to remain on the cutting edge. Biology, for example, particularly in its molecular and genetic disciplines, has moved into the realm of “big science” with the use of very expensive and/or proprietary technologies; information is necessary to move biological knowledge forward by even a tiny step. Russell Jones, a PMB professor, said, “What we did rely on was [Novartis’s] technology . But you know, this is how science is today; that you cannot do it with a piece of string and a piece of chewing gum anymore. You have to have this highly technical infrastructure and this is what we got out of TMRI.” The second justification concerned the benefits that were expected to accrue to PMB from its recovery of indirect costs. PMB had significant departmental T H E S C I E N T I F I C E N T E R P R I S E 111 debt, no management service officer, only one-fifth of a secretary’s time, and no prospect that the departmental budget from UCB would be enough...


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MARC Record
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