66 Tex. L. Rev. 1363 (1987-1988)
Academic Freedom and Academic Values in Sponsored Research

handle is hein.journals/tlr66 and id is 1397 raw text is: Academic Freedom and Academic Values
in Sponsored Research*
Rebecca S. Eisenberg**
I. Introduction
Scientists on university faculties today depend heavily on sponsors
outside the university to fund their research. But these outside funds
often come with strings attached. Research sponsors increasingly seek to
control the agenda of sponsored research and the dissemination of its
results. The lure of research funding may tempt scientists to acquiesce in
the sponsors' terms, thereby compromising academic values traditionally
protected by academic freedom. But the traditional American concep-
tion of academic freedom is ill-suited to the task of protecting academic
values in externally sponsored research. Indeed, its emphasis on defend-
ing faculty members against university administrations could potentially
tie the hands of universities, precluding effective responses to these
threats to academic values.
The potential for corruption of academic values is manifest in re-
search sponsored by industry and by the Department of Defense. These
sponsors often have a palpable interest in directing the choice of research
topics and restricting the publication of research results.I Many univer-
sities have responded by adopting formal research policy statements set-
ting limits on the. acceptable terms of contracts with these research
sponsors. A survey of some of these policies reveals both significant sim-
ilarities and significant differences among universities as to the meaning
and scope of academic freedom in sponsored research. Different univer-
sities use the rhetoric of academic freedom to justify diametrically op-
* Copyright 0 1988 Rebecca S. Eisenberg.
** Associate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School. B.A. 1975, Stanford Uni-
versity; J.D. 1979, University of California, Berkeley.
I am grateful to Iris Brest, Bruce Frier, Richard Friedman, Don Herzog, Jessica Litman, David
Rabban, Don Regan, and Fred Schauer for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this Article.
1. See generally D. DICKSON, THE NEW PoLrITcs OF SCIENCE 56-162 (1984); M. KENNEY,
FUND, INC., THE SCIENCE BUSINESS (1984); Eisenberg, Proprietary Rights and the Norms of Science
in Biotechnology Research, 97 YALE L.J. 177 (1987); Ferguson, National Security Controls on Tech-
nological Knowledge: A Constitutional Perspective, Sc. TECH. & HUM. VALUES, Spring 1985, at 87;
Grobstein, Biotechnology and Open University Science, SCi. TECH. & HUM. VALUES, Spring 1985, at
55; Piel, Natural Philosophy in the Constitution, 233 SCIENCE 1056 (1986).


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