The commercialization of the biomedical sciences: (mis)understanding bias

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):34 (2019)
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Abstract

The growing commercialization of scientific research has raised important concerns about industry bias. According to some evidence, so-called industry bias can affect the integrity of the science as well as the direction of the research agenda. I argue that conceptualizing industry’s influence in scientific research in terms of bias is unhelpful. Insofar as industry sponsorship negatively affects the integrity of the research, it does so through biasing mechanisms that can affect any research independently of the source of funding. Talk about industry bias thus offers no insight into the particular epistemic shortcomings at stake. If the concern is with the negative effects that industry funding can have on the research agenda, conceptualizing this influence as bias obscures the ways in which such impact is problematic and limits our ability to offer solutions that can successfully address the concerns raised by the growing role of private funding in science.

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Inmaculada de Melo-Martin
Weill Cornell Medicine--Cornell University

Citations of this work

Bias as an epistemic notion.Anke Bueter - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):307-315.

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