PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Getting Down to Business: Problems and Solutions for Industry-Funded Research

Friday, 4 November 2016
13:30 - 15:30

Chastain D (6th Floor)

Chair: Evelyn Brister, Rochester Institute of Technology

A growing body of research demonstrates that, across multiple scientific fields, industry funding is associated with results that further the funders’ interests. This has resulted in increasing suspicion of the reliability of such work at the same time that the majority of scientific research is being funded by private sources. Our proposed symposium begins with two talks that highlight the severe difficulties associated with addressing the problems emerging from industry-funded science and then turns to two talks that suggest possibilities for moving forward. Manuela Fernández Pinto (Universidad de los Andes) considers the prospects of collaborations between citizens and industry and shows how such activities can be corrupted, thus compromising the ethical and social impact of research. Bennett Holman (Yonsei University) argues that we need to reorient our conceptual framework from the development of solutions to viewing reform efforts as part of a necessarily ongoing and dynamic “asymmetric epistemic arms race.” Kevin Elliott (Michigan State University) argues that philosophical analyses of scientific objectivity provide a starting point for developing potential solutions. Heather Douglas (University of Waterloo) puts forward a proposal for ongoing forums as a means to generate and maintain “structures of trust.” Martin Carrier (Universität Bielefeld) will serve as commentator.

Martin Carrier, Bielefeld University,
Citizen participation in industry-driven medical research: An analysis of the ethical and epistemic costs
Manuela Fernández Pinto, Universidad de los Andes,
Measures and Countermeasures: How to Evaluate Attempts to Address Funding Bias
Bennett Holman, Yonsei University,
Improving Industry-Funded Research with Criteria for Objectivity
Kevin Elliott, Michigan State University,
Structures for Trust: Individual and Social Levels of Analysis for Industry Collaborations
Heather Douglas, University of Waterloo,


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