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I N ITS FIRST STATEMENT on academic freedom, the fledgling American Association of University Professors (1990 [1915], 393) noted that “Academic freedom … comprises three elements: freedom of inquiry and research; freedom of teaching within the university or college; and freedom of extra-mural utterance and action.” In our inquiry we found no direct evidence of concerns about the first or second of these, but some concerns about the third. UCB’s agreement with Novartis produced few or no effects on the freedom of faculty to engage in research and teaching. Moreover, there seem to have been few direct negative repercussions for faculty and graduate students who opposed the agreement. However, one CNR faculty member who publicly opposed the agreement claimed that his funding was reduced and that he was pressured into moving into a smaller laboratory space because of his opposition.While such actions are of great concern, there is little evidence that faculty academic freedom more broadly was constrained in such palpable ways. More significant for Berkeley and its future is the question of whether UCB-N, and relations with industry more generally, transformed research orientations in ways that threaten the academic freedom of certain faculty members. This question was pertinent only for CNR, and not the whole university , as UCB-N has had no known direct effects on research outside CNR. Many faculty who were opposed to the agreement argued that research critical of conventional agriculture was increasingly being pushed to the margins and not rewarded by the administration. In the opinion of these faculty members, T E N The Impact and Significance of UCB-N on UCB and CNR this marginalization and devaluation was happening because of the UC administration’s increasing emphasis on entrepreneurialism and the concurrent strengthening of relations with industry. For these critics, the agreement with Novartis was the latest step in the restructuring of CNR along these lines. A number of faculty, most of them in CNR but not in PMB, argue that UCB-N reflected a larger set of changes in the kinds of research that are rewarded at Berkeley. These critics charge, for example, that molecular reductionism is being rewarded at the expense of biological holism.1 While it can be argued that biological holism was never very prominent at UCB, and while it is unclear whether it is in fact disappearing altogether as a field of study, some ESPM faculty claim that all the new positions in the biological sciences at UCB are in molecular studies. At the same time, a number of proponents of UCB-N claim that much of the opposition to it came from a small group of faculty who work in ecological or organism biology. Moreover, the divide was described as between those that work in biotechnologies and those who are critical of current technoscientific tendencies generally and genetic engineering specifically. Some critics argue that research critical of the new technologies is increasingly being marginalized, while research that seeks to generate new technologies and forms of technoscience, such as genetic engineering, is embraced and promoted by UCB. A third division is between the “haves” and the “havenots .” The “haves” are practitioners of “big science” with expensive facilities and large extramural grants who tended to support the agreement, while the “have-nots”are faculty who conduct their scholarship with simple equipment and relatively small grants and who largely opposed the agreement. The ecologists, the critics of biotechnology, the have-nots, and faculty who do research on alternative agriculture feel that the UC administration views them and their research as unimportant. They believe that Berkeley is increasingly promoting scholarship that generates large grants or gains the university public prestige, while work that is critical of the current social, economic, political, or scientific order, or generates little external funding, is being marginalized . A significant number of CNR faculty thus feel disenfranchised. For some of these critics, particularly advocates of sustainable agriculture, the rise of biotechnology in agriculture is viewed as synonymous with increasing industry involvement in university research. While industrial involvement in the agricultural sciences is nothing new, the character of industrial involvement has clearly changed with the emergence of biotechnology (Kloppenburg 1988; Krimsky 2003). For example, the pesticide testing of the 1960s was more a service/extension function than a form of research. Faculty were paid by private firms to test specific pesticides. With biotechnology, the penetration of T H E I M PA C T O F U C B - N...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781592135356
Related ISBN
9781592135349
MARC Record
OCLC
184903524
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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