Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cambridge Science Goes Corporate

In a sad sign of the times, the University of Cambridge has changed it's tech-transfer regulations so that scientists no longer have any control over the licensing of their inventions/patents. Instead, the university will now license their work to whichever corporate entity they please. This policy change, touted as a huge advance in this Nature News propaganda article, puts Cambridge on par with such academic powerhouses as the OHRI/University of Ottawa. If you believe the article, this is exactly what Cambridge biological scientists have been needing. Yeah, I'm sure it's exactly what the world's leading academics want. Remember how Einstein was always crying about Princeton's crappy tech-transfer initiative and how it cost him the patent on the atomic bomb? Imagine the royalties they could have made off of the Cold War! What a missed opportunity for science. Or how about Cambridge scientist Stephen Hawking? Hopefully the poor guy will get a bit of cash when tech transfer commercializes the black hole as the ultimate garbage dump. Expect an increase in corporate interference and a concomitant decline in the quality of science at Cambridge in coming years.
On the topic of rants about the general state of science, don't you hate it when labs put out hokey, corporate-style "job" ads for post-docs?