The Collaboration Conundrum: Special Interests and Scientific Research

Location: McKenna Hall

Industry currently funds the majority of research and development in the United States. But historical scandals involving industry-funded research, together with empirical evidence of correlations in some areas of science between industry funding and research results that favor industry have undermined trust in industry-funded science. Given that so much research funding comes from industry, it would be unrealistic and wasteful to dismiss this research across the board as unreliable and unconcerned with the public good. What to do?

Government reports and scholarly publications extol the value of public participation in scientific research, and a number of funding agencies are now encouraging initiatives such as community-based participatory research (CBPR). Could the participation of citizen groups in industry-funded research also increase the relevance, reliability, and acceptability of industry research? The Collaboration Conundrum Conference brings together industry representatives and experts on important policy issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pollution and toxic chemicals, biomedical research, agricultural practices, and animal welfare to answer questions about how to bring the public and industry to do research for the public good.

Plenary Speaker

Nicholas Ashford is Professor of Technology and Policy and Director of Technology and Law Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 


This conference will start around 9:00 AM Thursday and end around 5:00 PM Friday. A light breakfast, lunch, and refreshments are provided both days. Dinner is provided Thursday. Please follow this link for the full conference program:

Program Committee

Janet Kourany, University of Notre Dame
Kevin Elliott, Michigan State University
Melinda Gormley, University of Notre Dame
Anjan Chakravartty, University of Notre Dame
Jessica Nickrand, University of Notre Dame 

Notre Dame Sponsors

Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), College of Arts and Letters, Henkels Lecture Series
John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values


SRPoiSE - Consortium for Socially-Relevant Philosophy of / in Science and Engineering
Science + Society @ State (S3), Michigan State University