Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 7 Discussion

Apple article
·         Not a very critical article
·         The origin and development of WARF
·         Steenbock's patents and his changing ideas about patents
·         Controversy over whether researchers should be applying for patents
o   Some believe that researchers applying for patents can protect people from manufacturers
o   Others believe that information should not be open to the public

·         What should these organizations like WARF look like? Is it the ideal model?
·        Is WARF more passive or active?
·         If there was no WARF, there would be no WID

Kleinman article
·         Based on ethnography of a plant pathology laboratory
·         Came from an interest in university relations and questions about boundaries between academic and commercial
·         Most people's approach was done by looking at contracts and administering surveys
·         Addresses tension between openness and secrecy
·         Goal was to go into a laboratory to see what it looks like - this lab was a good choice because the researcher did not have a lot of contracts
o   Researcher wanted to give farmers access to her findings
o   Realized that a patent was necessary for industry acceptance. Sometimes being the first to get on the market can be just as important as having a patent
o   She asks important questions related to alternatives

·         Power - via sets of social structures
·         How patent research tools affect the patenting process
·         Experimental use exemption - common law - similar to fair use

Slaughter and Rhoades
·        This shift to academic capitalism is not an abstraction but is rooted in evidence
·        Examines case in California and how the different court decisions changed as academic capitalism evolved
·        Long-term look at patent policies at several universities
o   splitting of royalties
o   who these policies cover
o   the way university changes its rules and regulations
·        Claim to have theoretical intervention
·        Outline different strands - none have looked at the university level (operation/policy)
·         Mertonian values have been abandoned
·         Critique - authors gloss over theories, but did not come back to them throughout the article
·         In another Slaughter and Rhoades book, they look at different countries and argue that those universities that are closer to the market are advantaged.
·         The term "public" is debatable as it relates to public service. We need to avoid making assumptions about what "public" means

·         Science is not value free
·         Human characteristics of science: emotional, boundary work, Mathew effect, dual ideology
o   These characteristics should be considered when studying the pharmaceutical industry
·         Reasons to look at this article: introduce concepts to like Mathew effect and boundary work
·         Science is a social field
·         Drug develop - few molecules are chosen, who is going to bare the cost?
·         Much of this work does involve connections between industry and universities; Morgridge was started with drug development in mind.

·         Knowledge brokers - include biotech firms and universities
·         Knowledge management  - comes out of business field - different kind of management than there would be in manufacturing
·         How does social accountability affect boundary work?
·         The ontological need for a molecule for the pharmaceutical company vs. alternative medicines that don't necessarily have a molecule to push through the pipeline.
o   Molecularizing traditional medicine in East Asia to create a pipeline

·         Mathew effect does not align with the Mertonian ideal.
·         Standpoint Epistemology - we see the world partially - Harding

Questions and more discussion
·       Daniel explains how when he came to UW, CALS had a lower status, but that seems to have changed with the introduction of molecular biology and the move to academic capitalismincreasing productivity of milk and bioenergy.
·         Did we find Slaughter and Rhoades argument compelling? It's important to not generalize - they paint with a very broad brush. How does their argument apply to public vs, private universities, east coast vs. west coast universities, etc.
·         There is discussion of patents and how not all patents are a single molecule, but a whole package (the process of identify molecules, testing molecules, etc).
·         Social commonsense - graduate school is all about socialization - what you're supposed to do and what you're not. There are some overlaps between field, but also lots of differences - creates silos
·         Movement on campus to create an open-source biology department
·         What are the alternative models from the ideal models like WARF - alternative ways it could function
o   open-source biology is an alternative
o   another alternative - most patents don't make money - a number of universities are getting funding from corporations and then giving the corporation the rights to the intellectual property. This is instead of the getting funding from the state, licensing the intellectual property, and then selling it.
o   DOW is funding university research - good pr tool
o   Would those alternatives improve the power dynamic between faculty members?
·        What degree is faculty autonomy desirable? How much autonomy are we talking about?
o   Not just freedom as they want, but having input into what decisions are made

Research topic - how patents relate to tenure?

We look at two documents that represent how the chancellor wants to shake things up on campus
·         University needs to earn more money from research - Daniel asks if this theme clear in the document
·        University is hoping to facilitate research for more product
·        D2P model is based on a linear model
·        Key words from Slaughter & Rhoades brought up like entrepreneurial and innovation - do these terms in the UW documents relate to academic capitalism or something else?
·        Who is the audience of these documents? Shared governance process - Chancellor would want this approved by all senates. It's not clear if the chancellor could pass this without going through the process and if she could pass some parts but not others

·        Will the graduate school process change as students are being advised to go into industry instead of academy? Is there a current trend of more people getting their masters and not sticking around for their PhD?

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