Week #8 - Social and Ethical Issues (due 3/11)
Many scientists who are employed as professors at universities have become involved in biotechnology ventures outside the university. Companies often set up their laboratories near universities to take advantage of the intellectual resources there. Industries that develop near universities employ nonscientists in the community as well as scientists and are generally looked upon as an asset to the community. The president of a major state university is encouraging faculty members to become active in the development of associated industries, viewing their mission as academics to include community-related activities. But legislators and the public, whose tax dollars fund the university, believe that the professors should concentrate on teaching. Should faculty be encouraged to participate in outside ventures because it is a service to the community and potentially to humankind through development of new biotechnology, or should they be held more strictly to a solely academic, teaching mission?