Over the two past decades, the effects of commerce on scientific research have become a global agenda. The relationship between the commercial sector and scientific research has strengthened and scientific research is becoming commercialized. It could be considered that an increase of commercial mindset has a negative effect on scientific research in several ways, especially in terms of a scientist’s freedom and scientific independence has been confined by the business sector. The government has to play an important role in finding an agreement between scientists and business sector, creating a policy to decrease commercial influences on scientific research and provide funding for scientists to serve the public interests. This essay will discuss the positive and negative commercial influences on scientific research.
It is true that the business sector could support scientific research as being a funding sponsor. Scientists have funding to run their research and the university has a sponsor to operate funding. At the same time, businesses could gain a profit from the research. However, the sponsorship could lead to many problems in scientific research. First of all, the researcher tends to have a lack of freedom to do research because they have to generate the result of their experiment to serve the needs of the funder, which is the main problem. According to Parkinson and Langley (2009), the quality and reliability of research has been reduced by doing misleading research due to receiving funds from the business sector. In this case, scientists do research in a limited time in order to gain short-term profits for the business.
Another negative effect of the commercial influence on scientific research is scientists lose their ethical standards due to the pressure from the business sector. Scientists hardly serve the public interests and cannot report the negative results of their experiments against their funding sponsor. The business sector tries to conceal the research results that might be harmful to their interests. For example, in the case of Nancy Olivieri (2001), a haematologist from Toronto University, faced the experience where she was stopped from publicising the outcome of her experiment by the drug company because she found that the drug had toxicity (Ho and Saunders, 2001). The business sector publicised misleading information to the public even though it might affect people’s health.
In an article by Parkinson and Langley (2009), they pointed out that reform is needed to protect scientific research from the commercial mindset. The solution to solve this problem is getting the government’s support by finding an agreement between the business sector and scientists, providing funds for scientists to serve the public interests and creating a policy to decrease commercial influences on scientific research so that it must be independent. Meanwhile, scientists could freely report the results of their experiment for the interest of the public.
In conclusion, the commercial sector has brought the positive and negative effects on scientific research. Although scientists have funding support from the business sector, they tend to be controlled by the business sector in generating the results to serve the sponsor’s needs. Furthermore, the researcher loses the ethical standards due to the pressure from the business sector. Thus, the key success factor to solve this issue is getting the government’s support. The government has to balance the public interests and the commercial interests, find an agreement between the business sector and scientists, create a policy to decrease commercial influences on scientific research, and provide funds for scientists to serve the public interests.