Readers' reactions

April 23, 1999

LAST WEEK IN THE THES....

David Weatherall argued that scientists doing industry-sponsored research risk being gagged.

Jeremy Hoad

General secretary

National Postgraduate Committee

For postgraduates, it is important that clear guidelines be laid out at the start of any collaborative research project. These guidelines should cover what each party expects in terms of the eventual dissemination of the research, what protection the researcher has to publish findings, and who controls the right to publish. The government encourages researchers to find industrial and business sponsorship. This influences the content of courses and the way they are run. Students need to know if their course is tailored to the needs of a specific industry.

Igor Aleksandr

Department of electrical engineering

Imperial College London

At Imperial College, we have procedures that protect researchers' integrity and ensure that people can publish their research when they are funded by industry. It is always possible for someone to slip through the net, but we try to make sure that there are no impediments to academic freedom.

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