When Corporations Come to Campus (20/3/2006)

1.When Corporations Come to Campus
2.Lessons from Lancaster

The webcast can be viewed at www.georgefox6.co.uk/conference.html

NOTE the involvement of Lord Sainsbury - the UK's GM-supporting-and-investing Science Minister - in all of this (item 2).

Lord Sainsbury was the keynote speaker at the corporate venture conference that resulted in the prosecution of the 6 Lancaster University students.

More importantly, his was the investment plan for science and innovation that was pushing British universities to work much closer with business and which ultimately lay behind the corporate venture conference (item 2).

And, as the recent sleazy revelations about Blair's unmerited rewards for Party donors have reminded us, this billionaire former food industrialist effectively bought his ministerial position - a position from which he has been able to push biotech and corrupt science and academia.

For more on this see: 'Blair's latest sleaze project and the biotech peers'


George Fox 6 Supporters Group
Contact: 01524 383012
[email protected]

When Corporations Come to Campus: Can Academic Freedom Survive in a Corporate World?

Wednesday 22nd March, 5.30-8.30pm, Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster

On Wednesday 22nd March, six Lancaster students will talk about their appeal against convictions for protesting against the commercialisation of research at a conference that links them with Berkeley University in California.

When Corporations Come to Campus aims to promote debate about the consequences of corporate ties to academia upon the independence and integrity of university research something that the George Fox Six were hoping to do when they protested at the Corporate Venturing conference at Lancaster University in September 2004(1).

Open to members of the public, the event will take place from 5.30 to 8.30pm at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University and will be streamed live on the internet.

Speakers include academics from the UK and the US, among them:

*Dr Ignacio Chapela (2) of Berkeley University, whose story has been deemed one of the most shocking examples of the corporate attempt to censor science,

*Thanos Mergoupis (3) who lost his job researching the economic and social impact of tourism at the London School of Economics when his sponsors took a dislike to his results

*and Matthew Wilson, one of the six students prosecuted for protest at Lancaster University.

They will be joined by Colwyn Williamson of the Campaign for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards (4).

Lancaster University's Vice Chancellor has refused to speak at the conference.

The organisers of the conference hope to draw the attention of the academic world to this important issue.

Joanne Moodie, one of the six Lancaster students says:

"The commercialisation of university research may have very severe consequences. For centuries, universities have been about expanding the general body of knowledge for the benefit of humanity. Now, corporate bodies attempting to cash in on knowledge development at universities threaten the very principles on which universities were built. Already, many academics around the globe have had their funding quashed, or their careers damaged by finding out things that their sponsors didn't want them to find. In a world where we depend on university research for so much, from medicines to climate change, we cannot risk losing the freedom and integrity that have for so long been a part of academia."

The conference will be held at IAS, Lancaster University on 22.3.06 at 17.30 (GMT), and will be simultaneously broadcast over the internet.

The webcast can be viewed at www.georgefox6.co.uk/conference.html

(1) The George Fox Six were convicted of Aggravated Trespass after their retrial which ended in Preston Crown Court last Friday. The six were summonsed to court after a peaceful three minute demonstration on their own campus at Lancaster University.

(2) Dr. Ignacio Chapela lost his position as Professor at Berkeley, University of California, after he revealed the extent of contamination caused by GM Maize in Mexico. After an international campaign he was reinstated.

(3) Thanos Mergoupis is now based at Bath University.

(4) The Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards is dedicated to maintaining standards of integrity and practice in academia, to exposing breaches in those standards and to supporting the victims of those breaches. www.cafasorg.uk


2.Lessons from Lancaster
Stifling student dissent is nothing new - what's new is who's doing it, writes Stuart Parkinson The GUARDIAN, 19 October 2005


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