2009

SGR produces a range of resources on the issue of 'Emerging technologies'. This covers a wide range of new and controversial technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, climate/ geo-engineering, genetically-modified organisms and synthetic biology, and nanotechnologies. An explicit concern is the adequate application of the precautionary principle, and the possible alternatives to emerging technologies, including 'appropriate' technology and non-technological solutions such economic, political or social change.

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The detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology

SGR report by Chris Langley and Stuart Parkinson; October 2009

It is no secret that links between the commercial sectors and science and technology are increasing. Many policy-makers, business leaders and members of the science community argue that this is positive for both science and society. But there is growing evidence that the science commercialisation agenda brings with it a wide range of detrimental effects, including bias, conflicts of interest, a narrowing of the research agenda, and misrepresentation of research results. This report takes an in-depth look at the evidence for these effects across five sectors: pharmaceuticals; tobacco; military/defence; oil and gas; and biotechnology. Its findings make disturbing reading for all concerned about the positive role of science and technology in our society.