In today’s world, private companies rather than the government pay for and conduct most scientific research.
Do you think the advantages outweigh disadvantages?
These days, most scientific research activities are funded and undertaken by private companies instead of the government. Although there are several benefits from this trend, its drawbacks are more significant.
On the one hand, private funding helps scientific research to be conducted without interruptions caused by significant government budget cuts. Reduced state funding in the recent decade has led scientists to be insufficiently paid and research activities to be constantly delayed. Furthermore, private funders usually are risk-takers and, therefore, more willing to provide bigger financial assistance. This means that research institutes are able to afford better facilities and equipment that allow them to be more efficient and to produce more accurate outcomes. Also, scientists would be more well-paid for their work and hence more motivated to undertake their researches.
On the other hand, it is difficult to ensure the reliability of research outcomes when private entities are the funders. Research institutes have to agree upon the terms and conditions dictated by the companies that pay them and act accordingly. It means that the final research results may be manipulated towards the direction that is favorable for the funders. Consequently, scientific research activities could be turned into profit-driven programs that benefit only a handful of organizations instead of society as a whole.
In conclusion, the downsides of the increasing reliance on private, instead of government, funding to conduct scientific researches are greater than the advantages due to the concern over the integrity of such researches.