The ethical dilemma of industry-funded research

Jun 29, 2016

Science isn’t cheap, and research needs funding. But are researches crossing ethical lines by accepting money from corporations and the government?

Kevin Boehnke is the recipient of a fellowship from Dow Chemical Co. and a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He studies water quality on a global scale, and receiving this funding will allow him to pursue his research further.

However, Boehnke warns other researches of “selling out” to funding opportunities. In particular when companies or government agencies hand over money, design the studies, and then decide whether or not to publish the findings.

“It’s a question of weighing the good this fellowship will do against the potential… cost of that association,” Boehnke told Stateside.

Boehnke joins us on Stateside to talk more about the ethical issues surrounding corporate and government-funded research.


Kevin Boehnke is a PhD candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He’s also a blog writer for Thought and Awe.