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Instruments of Commerce and Knowledge

Instruments of Commerce and Knowledge

Probe Microscopy, 1980–2000

Chapter:
(p.291) 9 Instruments of Commerce and Knowledge
Source:
Science and Engineering Careers in the United States
Author(s):
Cyrus C. M. Mody
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226261904.003.0010

Universities have long struggled to define their relation to the business world. This chapter explores a much wider range of relationships, however. These include: researcher sabbaticals from firms to universities and vice versa, technology transfer through firms' hiring of former graduate students and universities' hiring of former corporate researchers, corporate sponsorship of community-building activities such as conferences, corporate influence over researchers' choices of materials to characterize with their microscopes, corporate supply of parts for building microscopes (and academic feedback to the design of those parts), and corporate sponsorship of intramural research to stimulate formation of an extramural academic market. Most of these kinds of relationships are invisible in the debate about academic capitalism. Finally, both opponents and supporters of corporate involvement in university life have seized on grains of truth. Supporters have it right that corporate-academic linkages are desirable, even necessary, for research and innovation.

Keywords:   sciences, engineering, United States, technology transfer, graduate students, academic capitalism

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