Commercial benefits

April 4, 2003

The Royal Society's meeting on affiliation bias explored, among many other things, the best ways in which to maintain a balance between commercial and public funding of scientific research. No one suggested, as your article implied ("Business cash skews science", THES, March 28), that commercial funding of research should be avoided altogether. Public funding is very important for curiosity-driven research that may have no social or financial benefit in the immediate future, but may do so in the long term.

However, corporate support, with adequate safeguards, is crucial in the immediate application of science.

Patrick Bateson
Vice-president
The Royal Society

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