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Commercialisation of Biotechnology: Public Trust and Research


Chalmers, DRC and Nicol, D, Commercialisation of Biotechnology: Public Trust and Research, International Journal of Biotechnology, 6, (2/3) pp. 116-133. ISSN 0963-6048 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1504/IJBT.2004.004806


The success of the biotechnology revolution depends on an array of interwoven factors, not the least of which is the protection, preservation and promotion of public trust in the science, the scientists and the regulators. This paper considers some of the areas in which the commercialisation of biotechnology research may affect public trust. The increasing involvement of the private sector in basic research and the need for the public sector to commercialise its research has resulted in a blurring of the divide between the two sectors. The expanding public and private partnerships are creating an elision between the two sectors. In biotechnology, knowledge itself has become commodified and subject to confidentiality agreements and patent protections. These trends are challenging the traditional science norms of universalism, collegiality, disinterestedness and organised scepticism. These trends may equally have a detrimental flow on effect in relation to public trust in science. This paper considers and emphasises the appropriate roles of regulation, public consultation and corporate social responsibility and benefit sharing in protecting and restoring the key factor of public trust.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Chalmers, DRC (Professor Don Chalmers)
UTAS Author:Nicol, D (Professor Dianne Nicol)
ID Code:30556
Year Published:2004
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2007-08-14

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