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Seven risks emerging from life patents and corporate science

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This article examines some of the controversial issues emerging from the privatization of biomedical research and commercialization of biotechnology. The aim is to identify the dominant social, political, and ethical risks associated with the recent shift from academic to corporate science and from the increasing emphasis on investing in research projects that will result in the award of a monopoly patent. Identifying these risks may ultimately assist policy makers in designing new policies or reforming existing practices that will come closer to achieving an equitable balance between science pursued for the advance of knowledge and science pursued for patents and profit. The discussion may also assist the research directors or managers of biopharmaceutical companies in designing corporate policies that will optimize the balance between the serendipity of scientific discovery and the discipline of strategic business planning. Copyright copy; 2005 Sage Publications.




Ekberg, M. (2005). Seven risks emerging from life patents and corporate science. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 25(6), 475–483.

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