Letter: Genetic research
Thursday 20 August 1998
The research to develop these un-natural products is commercial research, usually carried out in great secrecy, and at immense costs, in a climate of feverish global competition.
There is no commercial motivation to delay production and use once a product is developed. Our society, coarsened by Thatcherism's morality of the market and indifferent to the wider needs of the community, now funds very little public research. Talk to any senior academic and they will go on at length about how their livelihood and promotion are dependent on finding commercially sponsored and directed research.
There is a great need to find ways of funding and directing independent research so that the public interest can be properly represented in these difficult arguments and to enable us and our legislators to make informed decisions on new technology. Perhaps what is needed is a contribution by large corporations, based pound for pound on their research budget, to a fund for such public research by universities and other unbiased institutions.
It is not enough to have a government watchdog, as proposed by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee (report, 17 August). In these subjects, at the forefront of science, knowledge is all, and this can only come from research.
JOHN S L EDWARDS
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Mike Read 'apologises unreservedly' for Ukip Calypso and withdraws it from sale
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'