Review: Greeenberg, Science for Sale

March 4, 2008

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Daniel S. Greenberg’s Science for Sale: The Perils, Rewards, and Delusions of Campus Capitalism has already generated much interest in the U. S. where the effect of the marketplace on academic science has been news for quite some time. But last Friday London’s Physics Today ran a positive review of Greenberg’s insightful analysis of campus capitalism as well, noting the book’s applicability to science policy in the UK. Greg Parker writes for Physics Today:

When I joined the University of Southampton’s microelectronics group in 1987 after spending 10 years in industry, I shared some of my commercial ideas for advancing the group into the 21st century with my academic colleagues. To say that my personal vision of paradise was close to their vision of hell is probably a pretty accurate observation. Two decades on, I now understand why they felt that way. Science for Sale contains a lot of information that explains this vast difference in perception, and the book also does a good job of highlighting how academia and industry differ on practical and ethical levels.

Parker continues:

My first worry on picking up the book was that it would be almost totally inapplicable to the current situation in the UK. Daniel Greenberg is a US journalist who usually writes about American science policy and practice, so I was expecting to find very little overlap with the reality of academic and business life in the UK. Much to my surprise, however, the overlap was almost 100%…
[T]his book does an excellent job of listing in detail the problems and the successes of trying to link the industrial world with academia.…

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