Biology, Economics, Education, History and Philosophy of Science, Reviews

Physics for sale?

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In the July issue of Physics Today William H. Wing reviews Daniel S. Greenberg’s recent book Science for Sale: The Perils, Rewards, and Delusions of Campus Capitalism—a revealing look at academic science and its commoditization in the hands of private interests. From the review:

Greenberg’s research is extensive. His knowledge of the institutions, policymakers, and industries involved in the development of marketable science, and their effects on the science community and public policy, is vast.…
[But] many of Greenberg’s examples pertain to the biomedical sciences. Some difficulties he describes—the complex ethical issues involved in human-subject research, extensive regulations, and massive documentation requirements—are issues that physical scientists rarely encounter. Thus those scientists may infer that the book is not relevant to them. They should not. Results in the physical sciences can have enormous human and societal impacts and can raise knotty moral problems, as history has shown. Science for Sale is a cautionary tale that should provoke thoughtful discussions among researchers and academic administrators.

Read the review on the Physics Today website.