We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Oil Goes to College

by Jennifer Washburn from Center for American Progress

This is a fairly lengthy abbreviated report based on a larger study of...
...a detailed examination of 10 university-industry agreements that together total $833 million in confirmed corporate funding (over 10 years) for energy research funding on campus.
I confess that I only scanned it because I have been aware of this happening frequently over at least the last 20 years involving most major industries. It illustrates once again how the ruling class is tightening its hold over all institutions in the US. I suspect that this is because their rule is increasingly being threatened due to the major problems that their rule, and their system of capitalism, is causing everywhere in the world.
The results of this report’s analysis of these 10 large-scale university-industry contracts raise troubling questions about the ability of U.S. universities to adequately safeguard their core academic and public-interest functions when negotiating research contracts with large corporate funders. This report identifies eight major areas where these contracts leave the door open to serious limitations on academic freedom and research independence.