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 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 1
The Privatization of SciencePage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I thought this would be a good topic for discussion owing the the egregious takeover of science by private industry and its highly bribed employee, the government. I'm sure by now we are all aware of how research, while detrimentally politicized for ages by the grant system, is now almost entirely privatized in the sense that if research shows no profit potential, it is quickly stopped.

Consider medical research…Big pharma is almost entirely in control of it. While much of the research is done directly by employees of the pharmaceutical companies, even the "independent" research in the universities gets most of its funding from big pharma. Those brave souls who decline private funding for ethical reasons usually can't get their projects off the ground for lack of government funding. There are a few exceptions to that rule, however if their research looks like it might pay off but cut into big pharnma's profits, there is little they won't do to quash it.

Cancer research is a prime example of what I'm talking about. Cancer is BIG money all the way around, so finding a cure is the farthest thing from the cancer industry's mind. That human beings are suffering & dying in droves is not their concern; their concern is selling product (at a HUGE markup) to generate shareholder profit and monstrous bonuses that would rival a bank CEO's bonus.

There are many examples of independent projects & researchers who have been destroyed in one way or another by these ghouls who profit from human suffering.

Picking one from the many in cancer research alone, I'm thinking in particular of a guy named Dr.Burzinski (only one of a few intrepid souls who actually had the nerve to think that we should be trying to find a cure for cancer and end as much suffering as possible). It seemed his research was paying off, so big pharma went to work and got their buddies in the FDA to try to shut him down. It almost worked. Were it not for the fact that he's the kind of man we all should be, he'd be rotting in prison for the next 300 years. As it is, he has a limited research clinic going that has an excellent record of curing cancer. naturally, you won't be reading about it in the news, or hearing about it from your oncologist…Where's the money in that?

There are other things than cancer research, for instance, where I live there is a body of water that has been used for all sorts of research, from the ecological implications of acid rain to water pollution studies and everything in between. Much of the research is unique in the world, and scientists from everywhere study this place & the data it provides.

Our Corporatist Crusader Herr Harper, in all his moronic glory and aided by his ministerial ward Flatulent has launched a cost-cutting crusade to shut it down to save a few bucks (and to also eliminate any research that might endanger his precious tar sands project out west). His wisdom in this is unquestionable (or you're fired!) One has to remember that this is the super-hero who kept the radio-isotopes from chaulk river flowing onto the world market, by preventing the evil woman given regulatory charge of the Chaulk River Reactor complex from shutting it down until it could be brought up to code. He discharged her from her position and heroically took personal responsibility for keeping it open to keep that minor monetary flow trickling in. He assuaged the concerns of parliament by proudly announcing "There isn't going to be any nuclear accident." That there was one shortly after he said that is immaterial (besides, he can keep most of that little "oops" out of the press so Canadians don't have to worry their pointy little heads about it). In any event, tritium looks like regular water anyway, so who's gonna know?

While i could go on and on about the privatization of science, perhaps i've rattled enough about the subject. It was not my intention to start a debate in which I'd participate; I only wanted to get the ball rolling in what I consider to be an important & relevant science topic. You should all have some meat to tear into and other examples to offer, possible solutions to propose, etc., so get to it, have fun and bon appetit.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 2
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 5:32:27 AM
Okay, I have one big problem with your post here. Not so much your opinions per se, but that you seem to be complaining that "privatization of science" is a bad thing, while also saying that Government involvement with Science is as bad or worse.

What else is there?
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 3
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:11:33 AM
I think the underlying complaint is that private corporations are using their control of government and its agencies (thru lobbying, bribes, etc.) to undermine what should be the intelligent & rational funding of science research by the public trusttes we call government (i.e. that the government is operating in breach of the public trust).

There is nothing at all wrong with government funding of science. Personally, I think it is taxpayer money well spent and a greater percentage of the budget should be allocated to it. What I have a problem with is economists determining what is and isn't worthwhile research. I think it might be better to have a science lobby (to lobby government for general science funding) and an independent research commission, composed of scientists to duke out how the funding should be allocated to the various fields. Then a team of specialists (without a vested interest in any project) might allocate their portion of the public funding to the various projects in accordance with what they might determine to be the most promising. No doubt there would be glaring flaws even in this hastily concocted idea, but I suspect it would be orders of magnitude better than what we have now.

There is nothing that prevents the private corporations from doing their own research at their own expense (without subsidies) and I would probably encourage them to do so. What I don't like is major corporations basically arranging for government to serve them instead of the people, and on the taxpayer's dime too.

I'm not making any accusations here, but from what I've seen, I'm led to believe this kinda crap is what's really going on behind the scenes.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 4
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:57:00 AM
Ah! thanks for the clarification. I actually completely agree with you, I think.

Solving the problem is very difficult, though, and is made more so every time a power group succeeds in fooling more Americans into believing things like "corporations are people, who have the right to try to influence policy for personal enrichment," or that Presidential candidates shouldn't have to reveal how they became rich, and who is funding their political advancement.

Oh, and Procol, I think you vastly oversimplified things there, saying nothing would get done if the government controlled the science. We got to the Moon, and created the Internet by dint of Government controlled science, among other things. You've been suckered into believing ANOTHER myth being touted by the greedy rich minority who want to keep the gravy train stopping ONLY in their towns.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 5
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 8:05:02 AM
re: Burzinski:

I'm going to research the person you mentioned. I've never heard of him.

This might be a good place to start. It will give you some background on him. Don't forget though, that there are many others.:
http://burzynskimovie.com/
 Bloke_up_North
Joined: 12/13/2008
Msg: 6
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 2:43:40 PM
There IS a cure for cancer. I can't remember what its called but it is commercially available at the moment and has been for years. The problem is the rules and regulations require that it be clinically tested and go through all sorts of tests and research and stuff to allow its use in the treatment of cancer. This is the stumbling block. It currently costs $100M to go through all these tests etc and who will pay that much when they don't hold the patent. Once it is through the tests anyone can sell it as a cancer cure. But then again, as Ducky says, who wants to cure cancer?
 ExitingTheStage
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 7
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:03:49 PM
Human suffering is big money.

Snake oil is the cure... the cure that keeps the salesmen rich.

To get peace... we wage war.
And we keep waging war to work towards peace.

To find cures... we criminalize treatments that cannot be patented.

To solve famine... we genetically modify food... we create and patent terminator seeds ... so farmers cannot have seeds from their plants and are hostage to the corporations with the patents.

Corporations control the government.... which is why private enterprise gets away with the abuse and misuse of science.

We're doomed.
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 8
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:30:22 PM
The Privatization of Science[/B] means it will not be done with everyone's best interest in mind but only those that stand to profit from it.

In Canada we are losing scientist left and right and the oversight to many of the rules and regulations with regards to environmental laws.

They are all great paying jobs with a vital role to the economy and many of the other programs they where involved with, had to do with research and that research was not goal oriented, it was more observational and it is that type of science that is vital to the answers that frees man of the shackles of corporations, because somewhere in the learning is many of the answers to our problems.

Great discoveries have for the most part the result of just looking or looking for something else, ironical something the drug companies know very well, as they base their product development on it.


Harper is a US conservatives wet dream, if they could ever get together and turn the crazy down a notch, they would be able to sneak a guy like Harper in. There is going to be a pretty big holyf*ck moment in Canada some day when we put down the beers and realize they guy has just set in place the plan to privatize Canada and go the way of the US.




Human suffering is big money.

...and when they run out of legitimate sick people they just do some marketing to convince normal people that they are also sick.
 Ethereal84
Joined: 8/1/2012
Msg: 9
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:39:51 PM
There was a guy, Nick Hanauer, that spoke at a TED conference that made the point that corporations control Jack and Shit, and if Jack was smart enough to realize his size and power, all these corporations would be left with the turd. Here's the link to his TED talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI
This is only relevant because this thread turned into the 'evil corporation' discussion
 ExitingTheStage
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 10
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 6:55:45 PM
There was a guy, Nick Hanauer, that spoke at a TED conference that made the point that corporations control Jack and Shit, and if Jack was smart enough to realize his size and power, all these corporations would be left with the turd. Here's the link to his TED talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI
This is only relevant because this thread turned into the 'evil corporation' discussion


This TED talk perfectly illustrates the fact that EVIL corporations pay politicians to believe or pretend to believe and publicly extoll the belief that RICH people/corporations need to be taxed less!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI

Billionaires should be taxed at least 50% .... more ... 75%





Published on May 17, 2012 by TheYoungTurks
Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs.
The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1b_Q1lprAk&feature=related
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 11
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 7:27:02 PM

This is only relevant because this thread turned into the 'evil corporation' discussion

This is unfortunate. I never intended for this thread to turn into a gripe session. WE ALL KNOW that corporations are inherently psychopathic because their sole ethic is profit; they have no human compassion because compassion isn't reflected in the quarterly P&L's or the annual statements. Now let's move on.

If you have more examples of how research has been compromised and/or researchers persecuted by government or corporations, that's fine as far as it goes, but I firmly believe the solution to our common problem lies with the common people, and that's us.

I want to hear what can be done about things to CHANGE THE SITUATION. I don't want to hear "That's the way it is and we'll never have the power to change it." defeatist garbage. I want some answers! So put on your thinking caps people…We have work to do.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 12
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 7:45:46 PM

I want to hear what can be done about things to CHANGE THE SITUATION.

He who controls the information also controls the message.

Corporations control the media and all though government regulations that are there to prevent just anyone from being the media are there because that is how the corporations want it. You want to start a TV channel or start broadcasting on the radio waves, yeah best of luck with that.

The Internet is the key to controlling the message, but it is also starting to fall under government control and if you think the government is doing for our best interested and not the corporations best interest you may be a redneck.
 CressB
Joined: 7/1/2011
Msg: 13
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/4/2012 8:00:29 PM

I want to hear what can be done about things to CHANGE THE SITUATION. I don't want to hear "That's the way it is and we'll never have the power to change it." defeatist garbage. I want some answers! So put on your thinking caps people…We have work to do.


Be careful Dukky we wouldn't want to loos you. :.(..

Hope you get off being grounded soon.
 Bezoa
Joined: 7/2/2012
Msg: 14
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/5/2012 4:20:41 AM
We need to be put in a situation, where the thought of limiting our actions according to money, seems ridiculous. There are numbers in the chaos, but little so meaningless as money in my opinion. I mean, wouldn't you gladly give up on money if you were offered a choice between it and having the best happiness ever, or everything you ever wanted/needed.

I think it's ludicrous that we invest time, effort, labor, all in the pursuit of money when there is the pursuit of betterment, happiness, survival, that all seem so much more important. There is enough technology, and knowledge in this world for everybody to be fairly comfortable; but no, that wouldn't be profitable...

I understand that human nature makes it difficult for us to go forwards sometimes, but that money is just too stupid a concept to me. I like to have it, but I do spend it foolishly at times, and it's more of a problem than anything. I'd much rather be comfortable, and happy than rich.
 Jiperly
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 15
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/5/2012 5:11:09 AM
>>>There is nothing at all wrong with government funding of science.

really? nothing?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 16
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/5/2012 7:31:06 AM
^^^^^ yes, nothing. Nothing INHERENT, anyway. there is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with only rich private interests funding science either. The problems come, when corruption of one kind or another, causes the science itself to be corrupted, and essentially falsified.

This is where I agree with ducky. The reason we are having an extra dose of problems these days, which we didn't appear to have as bad before, is that the extent of corrupting influence between the public and private movers and shakers in science has been increased considerably in the last few decades. It's why I am opposed to the current goal of many political people, to change the government to make it even MORE responsive to the desires of the large private monied interests. They advocate it, because they think that the economy will benefit from greater investment by private interests, and that more investment will in turn make everything better.

The problem is, that increased cooperation between government and private interests in that manner, has always tended to REDUCE true entrepreneurship, and instead has resulted in large private interests suppressing innovation. It's why SOME amount of government intervention and regulation will always be necessary, AND why too much regulation and intervention will also always be a bad idea.
 ExitingTheStage
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 17
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/5/2012 12:09:03 PM

I want to hear what can be done about things to CHANGE THE SITUATION. I don't want to hear "That's the way it is and we'll never have the power to change it." defeatist garbage. I want some answers! So put on your thinking caps people…We have work to do.



I could list many things that could be done....

but no one would do anything.
and those that would act . . . would have their movement co-opted and derailed.

But . . . maybe . . . your post may well inspire a spark that could revolutionize the way humanity continues to live!

I can see it now . . . those that stay the course on this POF thread will have their names on the front page of every newspaper around the world for solving all our problems.

EUREKA!!!!!

We could get rich!

Imagine?
Getting rich from solving the worlds' problem by participating on this thread.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 18
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/5/2012 9:02:21 PM

no one would do anything.
and those that would act . . . would have their movement co-opted and derailed.

I see two faulty assumptions here.
1) that no one would do anything…Why not? For instance, I don't know anyone whose life hasn't been touched deeply by cancer, whether it be relatives, friends, or even themselves, and most people are aware that there's a good chance of getting & dying of cancer in the future. I'd say (except for those who've lapsed totally into denial) there is STRONG motivation to do SOMETHING.
2) That their movement would be co-opted & derailed…What movement? Why can't people simply act on their own to write their reps demanding action, or perhaps stop using the standard and usually fatal treatments for cancer in favour of other treatments that have mountains of anecdotal evidence for their efficacy? (Hell, even the placebo is a more effective cancer treatment, especially when you consider that it isn't carcinogenic itself and does no harm to the body). Movements are a good thing, and you are quite right to point out the danger of derailment, but derailment is not a certainty, so I would say trying to create a movement would still be a viable option, especially if we redouble the effort with INDIVIDUAL ACTION.

While I detect a note of sarcasm in your noting that so much could come of this little POF thread, It doesn't have to be as far from the truth as you might imagine. Major world events have been ignited by smaller sparks. If only ten people are reading this thread, and they each ask two others to get involved, who in turn ask two others…Well, you don't have to be into multi-level marketing & pyramid schemes to see where this could lead.


We could get rich

Highly doubtful. I'm of the opinion that the end doesn't justify the means, it BECOMES the means. If we're only interested in money, we become part of the problem and are no better than the corporations exploiting people for profit.


Corporations spend billions to develop next generation antibiotics that cure people.

While I could argue this one all day, it is not in keeping with the purpose of this thread to do so, and there is a danger that getting into a debate about corporate behaviour & motivation could effectively derail the discussion.

For now, I'll only ask the question…Are you sure they are looking for cures, or are they more likely to be looking for patentable treatments?


No system is perfect.

I agree.


We can only work with what we have.

…until we come up with something better, which is the purpose of this thread…What we have now sucks big time!


theres no possible way that Scientific research can be conducted WITHOUT GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE FUNDING
Unless all of you are willing to pass over £100 off every paycheck, that is.

For myself, I'd consider that money well spent & I'd be happy to fork it over. It's well known that real scientific research shows real long term profit over time for the entire society. Most economists would recommend that about 5% of GDP be spent on pure scientific research, because historically speaking, much of that research pays off in technological advancement a few years down the line.

With regard to point #2, I'd urge you to watch that Burzinski movie I posted earlier. Towards the end, you will see that his patents have been hijacked and much of the fruit of his research is being virtually "stolen" out from under him by government & big pharma corporations (IMO so they can sit on the patents & get the people to fund less efficacious treatments (as opposed to plausibly curative ones).

Your point #3 is one of the things that inspired this thread to begin with and I think the recommendation you made to contact our reps & ombudsmen is an excellent idea. It is one thing we can all do quite easily. If enough of us get involved, we might be able to force things like national referendums on such issues.

We should bear in mind that what we call government is a public servant. We are the public, so why are they serving private corporations instead of us? Why are private corporations funding science?…Because they see the profit potential and want the money for the shareholders. Why doesn't the public (us) fund the science and reap the profits for ourselves?

The real power lies with the people and a people united cannot be defeated. All we really have to do is realize what power we have and start using it.
 ExitingTheStage
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 19
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/6/2012 12:00:55 AM

The real power lies with the people and a people united cannot be defeated. All we really have to do is realize what power we have and start using it.


Sure.... but it isn't happening.
Things are getting worse and will get even more so.
China is coming out the winner and the fall of the American empire continues...
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 20
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/6/2012 1:29:16 AM

Things are getting worse and will get even more so.

If nobody does anything about it, it's inevitable. Don't you think its time to put the brakes on, or would you rather just sit in the car and watch as it smashes into the wall?


China is coming out the winner and the fall of the American empire continues…

Big deal…China consists of people too doesn't it? The people of China are no different from us. they are being screwed by a corrupt "government." We have to quit thinking divisively. Us vs Them isn't one country against another, WWIII has been underway for a long time and its the people vs their "governments" (Which for a long time have been bank-owned through corporations).

Little Iceland should stand as an example to us all. A dinky little country of peaceable vikings who stood up to the banks and won. Their economy is starting to boom. So far, they are doing OK, but if they don't get some support from abroad, the world's banks and their lackey countries could be employed to crush them. Why? Because they had the courage to stand against tyranny. Don't you think people everywhere should be following their shining example before that torch is extinguished by the forces of evil?

I'm not trying to turn this thread into another anti-banking rant. I only wanted to point out that if a little country of 300,000 people can stand up against the forces that control the world thru economic slavery, then maybe…just maybe, we can do some little things to fix some of the problems we find at home, like letting our our so-called governments operate in breach of the public trust, or letting our families die needlessly of cancer.

I must admit, I'm more than a little disappointed here. I was asking for proposals on how we might improve the situation and all I hear is a bunch of defeatist fatalistic crap about why it can't be done. Let's get back on topic, shall we?
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 21
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/6/2012 1:57:33 AM
Create a universal medical plan.
Educate your children to understand that hands are important.
Create a universal dental plan.
Educate your children to understand that you are more than responsible for more than SELF.
Etc...all is beside the point when it comes down to quality of life.....even the privatization of science.
 ExitingTheStage
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 22
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/6/2012 12:43:25 PM
Posted By: JustDukky on 8/4/2012 5 : 48 AM


While i could go on and on about the privatization of science, perhaps i've rattled enough about the subject. It was not my intention to start a debate in which I'd participate; I only wanted to get the ball rolling in what I consider to be an important & relevant science topic.


^ Then don't try and control discussion JustDukky.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

xane_111

We know this.
Whether private and/or government funded.... Laws need to be in place to prevent profit at any expense.
When a corporation pours millions into research and they get it wrong.... they hide those facts in order to maintain profits at any expense.
Thus the reason to institute controls that would benefit all of society, regardless of the corporations profits-no-matter-what-attitude.
We need to stamp out the snakes of the industry.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 23
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/8/2012 11:20:32 AM
In one way, I hate to keep bringing up the privatization of medical science as a source of many of our ills (IMO it goes far beyond just medical science), but being as how our children are the prime concern for those of us with them, and being as we generally only know what the "authorities" & guardians of the public trust tell us through "fair & balanced" media reporting, I thought I'd present a possible example of how the public trust might be breached by using fraudulent science to effect "damage control."

Hey...What's the big deal anyway, right? We could probably cook up a study to suggest that autism's really the result of all you tree-hugging mama types that insist on breast feeding instead of using our new improved "Just like Mommy" baby formulas if we felt like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQG5Q4GWw2o&feature=player_embedded
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 24
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History
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/8/2012 11:56:37 PM

I want to hear what can be done about things to CHANGE THE SITUATION. I don't want to hear "That's the way it is and we'll never have the power to change it." defeatist garbage. I want some answers! So put on your thinking caps people…We have work to do.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead


We can change the situation by not buying their products and educating others to do the same.

We can use alternatives we've made ourselves and share.

We do not go for patents nor do we allow the corp's into our investments.

We stay small and trust that good news spreads.

We share ideas with like minded INDIVIDUALS.

We show our disgust by ignoring.

We use home remedies.

We save our seeds.

We take care of crops.

We mentor.

Recipe for inducing an abortion: can't say here but I can say elsewhere.

Last answer for now...meet in person and share your secrets as well.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 25
The Privatization of Science
Posted: 8/9/2012 1:20:10 AM
Those are all excellent suggestions! For now though, it might be nice to explore two of them:


We stay small and trust that good news spreads.

We share ideas with like minded INDIVIDUALS.


Getting together with like-minded friends & neighbours for support, discussion and ACTION is a no-brainer that should occur to everyone (but for some reason, doesn't seem to). It is my contention that if we are to effect change in anything, we are going to have to do that (and should be doing it already…some are), but it would be extremely helpful to get disparate small groups of like minded people in different geographic locations together to form a larger network dedicated to changing the status quo.

What is your thinking on that?
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