Lesson one: How to make a university into a PR wing of a multinational corporation
Start with lots of money
Big Pharma buys off the media critics with $15 billion a year, and they buy off the Government watchdog agencies too. But they also surround their Octopus tentacles around the academic towers as well. And it’s (mostly) all legal — indeed the companies can brag about the money they give for research…
Dr Peter Rost explains that the Big Multinational Corporations buy influence from every angle. Firstly they pay out grants for research. They help develop the research with academics. They also pay individuals directly — they pay them a speakers fee, $1,000 – $2,000 a day.
You establish friends. You make them beholden to you…
You give them money for programs, educational programs, ones they make a profit from.
They are supposed to be third party and independent from the company, but everyone knows that the institutions that Big Pharma is more generous with are the same institutions that happen to say the things the company is happy about.
Even if you can officially claim — this is at arms length — they can do whatever they want with it. Reality is they are not going to continue to get money if they are not saying the things you want them to say.
They know it, you know it, it’s only maybe the public that doesn’t know it.
Thus do awkward experiments never get started and inexplicable results get left in the desk. Young researchers may not even be aware of the veil that filters the work. They come up with a great idea, the senior researcher pours cold water on it, because it sounds a bit risky, or controversial, and the real questions never get asked. And in the tea-rooms everyone else murmurs in agreement.
At best our public institutions churn out press releases that are half the truth and mostly not what we really need to know.
At worst, they are disguised advertising machines. They appear to serve the public while they betray them. It is safe and effective.
Great science takes a supreme level of honesty.
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July 16, 2022 at 12:06PM