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Old 05-09-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Its not about people being in "cahoots", its how the directives from management effect people's decision making process. But there are plenty of examples of out-right corruption as well, but even in these cases the lower level employees are often not aware of it.
Again, the discussion is addressing intentional lying about and falsifying data by the scientist due to payment or whatever, not guiding direction from management in late stage discovery for a project to bypass data in disagreement. Besides, I find the point to be moot in the context of the research awarding a PhD. It's not as if the work is going to address bringing a drug to market. The only goal is to add to the body of scientific knowledge. It simply doesn't touch the scope you're talking about here (or Kodaka).

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You keep talking about all the people you meet with, but these people are all part of the same company as a result the same sort of incentive structure exists for them all. Its like being in a room filled with color-blind people trying to make judgments about color distinctions. If you want to see an example of how a large group of people can be all corrupted by the same psychological flaw look no further than the current economic crisis (or any economic bubble for that matter).

Anyhow, you seem to believe because there is a large number of people involved that it can't be easily corrupted, but the exact opposite is true due to human psychology.
I can understand that. But the fact remains that their does tend to be safety in numbers. To me, that's just common sense. Using the PLD example again, I figure the goal would be to eventually develop a molecule that hits the target without the side effect. If there is a manipulation of data in one of the 5-6 teams addressing the condition, and that research is allowed to proceed just the same, that would not lead to the development of a molecule that does not induce PLD. Sure scientist Joe Blow might get a publication out of it and some notoriety, which would be short lived, but it doesn't make sense for the co.

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A small research group in academia has the same sort of issues, but there is a major difference. The research in academia is largely open and one groups research is open for critique to another group with no connection and often a set of competing biases. Academia is in a sense a free market of ideas, research at a private firm is not.
Perhaps this is the case, tho, it's not what I experienced in school. We were not meeting with panels to discuss our work. We were an insulated group doing our thing. This was followed by poster sessions at the university and if published, perhaps a poster session at a conference or a presentation. Also, the only thing kept under wraps at work, ime, are the specific molecules. We engage in all kinds of research and if company molecules are used (in conjunction with commercially available molecules) they are simply shielded in publication.

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- Not sure why you are talking about students, grad students are the grunt workers of academia and are neophytes to research.
- Academic environments? Why the plural? I suspect you are mistaking what happens at the local level (an individual research group) with what happens at the more global level. The latter is not insulated at all.
- Yes resources are at issue, but that is even more the case at a private firm. A professor is not going to lose his job for pursuing unpopular research or going against the grain, where as someone at a private firm very well may.
Lets not conflate the issue further. It's not about doing popular or unpopular research. Whatever the work is, the assertion is that it lacks credibility/integrity if conducted in industry. I note grad students due to them being impressionable and I note plural because I figure there is more than one.

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You seem to be operating with this notion of some sort of noble scientist, but these are few and far between. Scientists are easily corrupted and people have a strong tendency to form groups and caste out outsiders from the group. And this is one of the reasons tenure exists, a professor can pursue unpopular research and not have to worry about his job.
Again, ok. This really doesn't have anything to do with anything in this thread. As if the bulk of PhD's address groundbreaking unpopular research. I've been to my fair share of dissertations and while novel, not all that interesting. They add to the body of knowledge. They're not turning science on its head.

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They do? Sounds like you think that the same sort of research that you do at your company is what they do in academia, but that is far from the truth. Companies are interested in very particular (usually mundane) things, not revolutionary science. That is the major difference after all, research in private industry is all largely directed towards very concrete goals that can be completed in short order.
Agree with the latter statement. Again, for the 10th time, I don't see where the sexiness of research comes into play as it pertains to the OP. And many uni's do indeed want the patent (if applicable). Why wouldn't they?

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Businesses are well aware of the difference though, that is why (usually large companies) will either give their researchers time to spend on their own interests (say 20% or so) or will have an entire division dedicated to it. A classic example of the latter is the Xerox's PARC. They discovered many of the things that lead to the personal computer, though Xerox never capitalized on them.

Anyhow, you acknowledge the difference between "pure research" and "applied research" and that academia is primarily focused on the former and yet ignore it when you talking about academia "wanting the patent". Well that or you don't understand the nature of pure research, i.e, that most of the results are not the sort of thing you can patent. I can't think of a single professor I know personally that owns a patent.
Professors are not allowed, to the best of my knowledge, to solely own patents. As I understand it, the university owns the patent, the inventor receives a portion of profits from the selling of intellectual property.

Some links LinkA LinkB LinkC

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And why would you believe that? By any measure I can think of the research done in academia is more interesting.
It would certainly be more interesting as a tenured professor, sure. Getting there is the issue I'm noting. It's a difficult and unlikely path. There is no way in h3ll I would ever land a gig at prominent university. It might be doable at a state uni. And with that battling for funding is another issue that cannot be ignored. I remember my boss stressing over money all the time. Some years he really didn't know if he'd be able to fund his grad students. The source of our funding primarily came from an institute in NY and yea, he had to produce for them, jump through hoops, etc.

With that said, what I'm interested in is doable in and relevant to industry. And I've become a bit spoiled with the resources. One of the reasons, I believe, that research moves at a greater pace is simply because we have greater resources. What I was doing manually in grad school, spending months in the lab to collect this or that data, I could manage in a couple of weeks (or less) at work.

Another difference I've noticed is the environment is less competitive. I don't want this to sound like I'm exhibiting contempt for academia, so please don't take it that way. It's just what I noticed. Prof's were competitive with each other. Dept. A would dog on dept. B. If I was having an issue with my work it wouldn't have dawned on me to go to another dept for help. There was hen pecking, etc. At work it's expected that I seek out whoever for help. It's expected that I use all resources available.

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The issue is that the vulnerabilities that you supposedly recognize indicate an animosity towards the very nature of academia. The things you seem to think are vulnerabilities are part of what makes academia so powerful.
This is just silly. Sure, I'll buy that it can play into the power of academia. That's fine. But, you are coming from a romanticized and emotionally invested perspective. I am not. Since I'm not invested animosity is not on my table. It's simply a red herring on your part.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,469 posts, read 19,704,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Again, the discussion is addressing intentional lying about and falsifying data by the scientist due to payment or whatever...
Which discussion? I have been talking about incentives and psychology issues the entire time and I believe the other poster had this sort of thing in mind as well. This is the real issue, not intentionally lying, etc. That is relatively uncommon in both industry and academia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
But the fact remains that their does tend to be safety in numbers. To me, that's just common sense.
The fact remains that this is not true, in fact the opposite is true. A small group is likely to be more free from corrupting influences than a larger one, once a group gets large the it will start to form a hierarchical structure which is not particularly conductive to the pursuit of science.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
We were not meeting with panels to discuss our work. We were an insulated group doing our thing.
Right as I said at the local level a research group in academia is insular, but at the global level it is not. Once the work gets published it is openly critiqued, replicated by completely unrelated groups. On the other hand private industry is largely a closed system and final products/services are in competition not the ideas themselves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
It's not about doing popular or unpopular research. Whatever the work is, the assertion is that it lacks credibility/integrity if conducted in industry.
You are missing the point, Academia has a mechanism built into it that deals with humans tendency to cast out outsiders. In research that largely means people doing unpopular research. A private firm has no such mechanisms and in fact its hierarchical structure will just make it worse. You noted earlier that your boss got angry when you questioned him, in Academia most professors are pleased to have you question them. Its an open intellectual environment.

Thus, this issue is very relevant to the issue of whether work in private industry lacks integrity or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
And many uni's do indeed want the patent (if applicable). Why wouldn't they?
Because their goal is not profit, but rather furthering human knowledge about the world. Patents are not consistent with the sort of intellectual freedom that most academics thrive on. Although, private industry does at times farm out some of its research work to academia in which case the results (if applicable) are likely to be patented by the company.

If everyone in Academia was out aggressively patenting their stuff it would significantly set back scientific development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
It's just what I noticed. Prof's were competitive with each other. Dept. A would dog on dept. B. If I was having an issue with my work it wouldn't have dawned on me to go to another dept for help.
Sure, and you believe a less competitive environment results in a better result? So you think if there is only one company producing widget X that will produce a better result than if 5 companies are competing and making the same widget? I suppose you also believe communist economies are more efficient? The competition combined with openness is what makes Academia great (its in a sense a free market of ideas), the closed systems and cronyism in private industry is what makes it lack credibility.

But its not like academics think that everything done by a private industry is rubbish, its just that they are likely to be more skeptical towards it than they would be work done in academia. I think it also depends where the work originated, some firms do have more open environments (at least in some divisions) than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
But, you are coming from a romanticized and emotionally invested perspective. I am not.
I have no idea what you think I'm romanticizing, I've agreed with most of your claims about academia but can't see the forest for the trees. Emotionally invested in what exactly? I'm not working in academia.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Which discussion? I have been talking about incentives and psychology issues the entire time and I believe the other poster had this sort of thing in mind as well. This is the real issue, not intentionally lying, etc. That is relatively uncommon in both industry and academia.
The other poster stated that the research is not credible or rigorous, that it's lacking is research design, that it does not undergo peer-review, that it's not viable. All on the basis of bias and fraud. That is what I've been addressing. I have also addressed your points, which are good points, but you want to throw the context of my argument out of the conversation and I don't understand why.

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The fact remains that this is not true, in fact the opposite is true. A small group is likely to be more free from corrupting influences than a larger one, once a group gets large the it will start to form a hierarchical structure which is not particularly conductive to the pursuit of science.
For this to happen there would have to be overwhelming circumstances. It certainly can happen, but in no way is onset easier with large groups. As we noted, the typical life span of given projects are short lived in comparison. A year is a stretch. There simply isn't enough time. But, take 10 people in a lab working together for several years, with a majority of them as subordinates to the guiding hand of an adviser, it spells out greater ease for trouble imo

Any way, it's not what I experience. I swear to this and I've worked in a few environments that had clear hierarchies. Heck, a few posters in this thread made the analogy of the sensei(sp?)/grasshopper, which didn't cross my mind, but was a good point. Those hierarchies are clear in academia. Again, my experience with multiple sensei one room showed friction.

To add, the previous dept I was in adhered to a flat platform. It was an interesting dynamic and it worked. Even outside of that, I simply don't sense the hierarchy at work when it comes to the science. My boss will nitpick me for baloney, but not with the science. I don't come across inflated egos. Maybe other's do higher up the food chain, but not where I'm at. And I work with some renowned scientists. Or, perhaps it's just my perception.

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Right as I said at the local level a research group in academia is insular, but at the global level it is not. Once the work gets published it is openly critiqued, replicated by completely unrelated groups.
Of course.

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On the other hand private industry is largely a closed system and final products/services are in competition not the ideas themselves.
I sense a misunderstanding here. I think you both are assuming that the bulk of research coming out of industry is focused on the final product that will go up for sale. That's not the case. Even a low level scientist like me is expected to publish at least once a year. Or at least produce something that can be presented at a conference for a poster session. The scope does not include products for sale. The bulk of research is simply adding to the body of knowledge. All of the projects in my department are of this nature. They have to be. It takes more than a decade to bring a drug to market. There are thousands of things that come out along the way that are published as we go. We are constantly fighting for spots at global conferences.

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You are missing the point, Academia has a mechanism built into it that deals with humans tendency to cast out outsiders. In research that largely means people doing unpopular research. A private firm has no such mechanisms and in fact its hierarchical structure will just make it worse. You noted earlier that your boss got angry when you questioned him, in Academia most professors are pleased to have you question them. Its an open intellectual environment.
He's definately sensitive and I think those other two poster were correct. Grasshopper was pushing sensei When I first started my job I went back to a number of my old profs with questions. They were uneasy with this. One suggested a consulting fee. Ideally it's an open environment providing egos don't get in the way.

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Thus, this issue is very relevant to the issue of whether work in private industry lacks integrity or not.
This is the question posed, but again, I have no reason to believe it's the case. Even tho I am a scientist who has both published in academia and industry, who has some experience in both worlds, my pov doesn't seem to matter. *cries* j/k

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Because their goal is not profit, but rather furthering human knowledge about the world. Patents are not consistent with the sort of intellectual freedom that most academics thrive on. Although, private industry does at times farm out some of its research work to academia in which case the results (if applicable) are likely to be patented by the company.
Yea, I get this and that is certainly one of the cool attributes of academia. As stated, tho, I experienced some harshness when it came to patents. I was disillusioned and dissapointed. I had a great idea that came from work I was doing over the summer and brought it to my adviser (not my boss). He liked it. A friend of mine who worked in industry helped me create a prototype. Then a meeting was held with one of the dept's money makers, and he was the one starting on the patents. It all turned into a big mess. All I wanted was to be the author and noted as inventor, but due to my buddy as an outside independent and an outside consultant brought in by the uni that was supposed to help, it turned to cr*p and I dropped it. It would have been a good thing, tho.

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If everyone in Academia was out aggressively patenting their stuff it would significantly set back scientific development.
Everyone doesn't. I'm not saying that. It's just in the mix.

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Sure, and you believe a less competitive environment results in a better result? So you think if there is only one company producing widget X that will produce a better result than if 5 companies are competing and making the same widget? I suppose you also believe communist economies are more efficient? The competition combined with openness is what makes Academia great (its in a sense a free market of ideas), the closed systems and cronyism in private industry is what makes it lack credibility.
I have no idea what you're going on about. Clearly, you misunderstood my statement. I'm referencing the open environment you've been discussing and how I didn't find it to be all that open.

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But its not like academics think that everything done by a private industry is rubbish, its just that they are likely to be more skeptical towards it than they would be work done in academia. I think it also depends where the work originated, some firms do have more open environments (at least in some divisions) than others.
I'm not concerned about academics having a low opinion of whatever research project I bring to the table. As stated, my co is in bed with a number of universities in the area. There is no 'poo poo' going on there.

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I have no idea what you think I'm romanticizing, I've agreed with most of your claims about academia but can't see the forest for the trees. Emotionally invested in what exactly? I'm not working in academia.
You are the one noting emotionalism (animosity). On the net, 'you spot it, you got it' is pretty typical. I have no idea why you would be under the impression that I'm feeling in any way. So, I figure it's your thing. The only thing in this thread that got me a bit huffy was the quackery about Nature. But, that was annoyance.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
The other poster stated that the research is not credible or rigorous, that it's lacking is research design, that it does not undergo peer-review, that it's not viable. All on the basis of bias and fraud. That is what I've been addressing.
And that is what I'm addressing as well, its just that I think the psychological issues and the incentive structure is key not the sort of intentional corruption you have mentioned.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
For this to happen there would have to be overwhelming circumstances. It certainly can happen, but in no way is onset easier with large groups.
No way huh? It would help if all of these was not well documented in psychology. There does not need to be overwhelming circumstances, what I'm talking about is the norm in terms of human behavior. Its the so called "bandwagon effect", and that is just one of the cognitive biases that is in play.

Claiming that your work group does not suffer from these problems is like someone that is deaf telling you that the music on the radio is good. You are part of the system as a result you're unlikely to see its faults (that is especially true if you're not trained in psychology/sociology).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Those hierarchies are clear in academia. Again, my experience with multiple sensei one room showed friction.
The hierarchical structure in academia is rather flat, one should not mistake prestige for a rigid social hierarchical. The only real distinction is between grad students/post-docs and professors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Even outside of that, I simply don't sense the hierarchy at work when it comes to the science.
You don't? How many times have you spoken with the CEO? Or any executive in the company for that matter? How often do you speak with whoever manages your boss? I suppose if you close your eyes and ignore the fact that you are working for a private company you won't sense the hierarchy, but it exists nonetheless.


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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I think you both are assuming that the bulk of research coming out of industry is focused on the final product that will go up for sale. That's not the case. Even a low level scientist like me is expected to publish at least once a year.
Its not an assumption, its basic business. Perhaps you forget that you are working for a private company that needs to generate revenue and profit.
A private company is not going to conduct research for the good of humanity, its going to conduct research for the good of the company. Do you freely work on whatever you want? No, you are told what to work on and your work is going to be related to ultimately some product or service.

I'm really a bit baffled how you could think it was otherwise. You think because you publish and/or present some of the work that its goal is not to create some product?!

This is a major difference between private industry and academia, the work in academia is largely self directed. The work in industry is based on the business goals of the businesses involved in the research.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
who has some experience in both worlds, my pov doesn't seem to matter. *cries* j/k
Well its because logically speaking it does not matter, nobodies personal experiences of a dynamic system matter. The emergent properties of a dynamic system have to be observed "from the outside" not from within. And of course, your personal experiences are non-random in the first place.

A perfect example of this sort of thing is cellular automaton (a device used to study dynamical systems). You'd never be able to determine the emergent behaviors from just looking at the rule-sets. You have to step back and watch the system as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Everyone doesn't. I'm not saying that. It's just in the mix.
Most of academia is not focused on "inventions", rather the theoretical development of their field. There are of course differences between the various fields, some fields are more application oriented than others. But patents in academia usually have more to do with greed and ego than anything else. Most academic research is funded by the government as a result there is no reason that one person or group should benefit from its discovery. Universities or professors should not be in the business of securing patents, they should openly publish their research.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I'm referencing the open environment you've been discussing and how I didn't find it to be all that open.
Sure and claiming that there is both 1.) a lot of competition in academia and 2.) suggesting its not that open are contradictory. What is the competition all about? Final products? No, rather ideas. If academia was closed there would be nothing to be competitive about, nobody would know what the other was doing!


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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I have no idea why you would be under the impression that I'm feeling in any way.
Well duh....how about your comments here and else where? Are you suggesting that one cannot infer emotional states from someone's writing?
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:05 AM
 
19,056 posts, read 24,873,482 times
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Originally Posted by user_id View Post
And that is what I'm addressing as well, its just that I think the psychological issues and the incentive structure is key not the sort of intentional corruption you have mentioned.
Well, I don't think it's getting us any where. I doubt either of us have the time, but perhaps we can compare papers coming out of both uni and industry. Maybe if I have some time during the lunch today I can do a search in sci-finder and gather all publications coming out of 3 or 4 co's and 3 or 4 unis (in the same genre) from 2008-2010. That will contend with the assertion that research coming of industry isn't peer reviewed. A few can be chosen to evaluate research design and rigor. We can look in sci-finder to see how many papers are cited by authors in uni. That should address whether academia finds the work to be credible and viable.

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No way huh? It would help if all of these was not well documented in psychology. There does not need to be overwhelming circumstances, what I'm talking about is the norm in terms of human behavior. Its the so called "bandwagon effect", and that is just one of the cognitive biases that is in play.
Ok, but at the same time is it not based on limited information? I'm reading about it here. "Cascades explain why behavior is fragile‚ÄĒpeople understand that they are based on very limited information. As a result, fads form easily but are also easily dislodged. Such informational effects have been used to explain political bandwagons."

When I consider politics, it makes sense. Again, I think onset would be more difficult in this venue (i.e., my job) because you don't have a group of people with limited information. Instead, you have a group of people with a lot of information, derived from global sources, to the level of expertise.

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Claiming that your work group does not suffer from these problems is like someone that is deaf telling you that the music on the radio is good. You are part of the system as a result you're unlikely to see its faults (that is especially true if you're not trained in psychology/sociology).
Well, for what it's worth, one of my undergraduate degrees is in psych. I don't really think that's training, but an introduction. Any way, insert my response above here. I agree there is risk. I don't agree the ease aligns with typical herd mentality.

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The hierarchical structure in academia is rather flat, one should not mistake prestige for a rigid social hierarchical. The only real distinction is between grad students/post-docs and professors.
That does not negate significant influence. Again, look at Hwang. I have little doubt his position guided the choices made by his grad students and direction of the work. That kind of direct influence is not what I experience at work. My choices in projects are restricted to the department's investigations (sort of or at least they should be), but the approach and direction is on my shoulders.

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You don't? How many times have you spoken with the CEO? Or any executive in the company for that matter? How often do you speak with whoever manages your boss? I suppose if you close your eyes and ignore the fact that you are working for a private company you won't sense the hierarchy, but it exists nonetheless.
I have never spoken with the CEO or any executive. I've been lectured to by patent attorneys and I've had contact with HR. Outside that, I only have contact with scientists. None of this is to say there isn't a chain of command. Of course there is. The pressure I experience is two-fold. One, the project has to be interesting, which is determined by our global head. Two, the project has to work, despite continual yammering that yielding cr*p data is a part of science.

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Its not an assumption, its basic business. Perhaps you forget that you are working for a private company that needs to generate revenue and profit.
A private company is not going to conduct research for the good of humanity, its going to conduct research for the good of the company. Do you freely work on whatever you want? No, you are told what to work on and your work is going to be related to ultimately some product or service.
What I am told is that I am to add to the body of knowledge. Yes, my research addresses the problems related to drugs, which is huge in scope. Just as my research in school related to the problems of the dept's agenda. People work within fields. Pharma works within a specific field, which is again, simply huge in scope.

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I'm really a bit baffled how you could think it was otherwise. You think because you publish and/or present some of the work that its goal is not to create some product?!

This is a major difference between private industry and academia, the work in academia is largely self directed. The work in industry is based on the business goals of the businesses involved in the research.
Of course I think the goal is to lead to a product. It's just not as stringent as you think. Right now, 30-50% (30% is supposed to be the max, but that's another story) of my time is spent on routine work. This routine work directly addresses drug development. It's early phase discovery. I simply characterize co molecules so that a few them can move to the next phase. The goal of the company is that one of these compounds will make it to proof of concept, onto clinical trials, etc. Yes, that's the point of the co's existence.

But, 50-70% of my time is supposed to be in research that adds to the body of knowledge. Again, I realize this aids in develop somewhere, but it's not development itself. The project I am working on right now will be published at some point this year. Will this help my co? Maybe. Will this help other co's. Sure. Somebody in academia? Sure. I'm addressing an issue that eludes folk in bio-med research. It's been a side effect for decades that we don't understand well. This is what my year-end reviews address. Nobody gives a flying fig how well the routine work is going, the stuff that actually brings a drug to market, because a monkey could do it.

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Well its because logically speaking it does not matter, nobodies personal experiences of a dynamic system matter. The emergent properties of a dynamic system have to be observed "from the outside" not from within. And of course, your personal experiences are non-random in the first place.

A perfect example of this sort of thing is cellular automaton (a device used to study dynamical systems). You'd never be able to determine the emergent behaviors from just looking at the rule-sets. You have to step back and watch the system as a whole.
I still think something could be learned. An interior designer entered this thread and made erroneous statements. Rather than considering she might be wrong, even if only in the context of not understanding peer-review, she is simply sure of her authority. I fail to see the benefit of that approach. People that know everything learn little. One thing I have learned along the way is to pause and consider. That's all I'm saying.

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Most of academia is not focused on "inventions", rather the theoretical development of their field. There are of course differences between the various fields, some fields are more application oriented than others. But patents in academia usually have more to do with greed and ego than anything else.
Agreed

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Most academic research is funded by the government as a result there is no reason that one person or group should benefit from its discovery. Universities or professors should not be in the business of securing patents, they should openly publish their research.
Well, I can agree about what they should ideally be doing. For some, it is what it is.

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Sure and claiming that there is both 1.) a lot of competition in academia and 2.) suggesting its not that open are contradictory. What is the competition all about? Final products? No, rather ideas. If academia was closed there would be nothing to be competitive about, nobody would know what the other was doing!
Your speaking of post publication. I'm talking about pre-publication. And the competition I witnessed was based on egos, not science.

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Well duh....how about your comments here and else where? Are you suggesting that one cannot infer emotional states from someone's writing?
I don't think my comments here or elsewhere point to feelings of animosity towards academia, because it's not real. It's nothing I'm experiencing. It's your thing.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Ok, but at the same time is it not based on limited information?
No, generally speaking it is not. The bandwagon effect is a term that covers a wide range of behaviors. People will join the bandwagon even when they have information that tells them its wrong.

There is no question that the bandwagon effect plans a role in science, the history of science is filled with examples. The real issue is how one can limit its influence on the scientific process, academia at least tries to do something about it where as most private firms just make it worse.


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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I have never spoken with the CEO or any executive. I've been lectured to by patent attorneys and I've had contact with HR. Outside that, I only have contact with scientists.
And yet you think academia is some how more hierarchical. You can't even speak with the people who are in control of your company, which I may add is a sign of a company that has a thing for power and control.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
People work within fields. Pharma works within a specific field, which is again, simply huge in scope.
Yes people work within fields, but the people in academia can decide to research whatever they want within their fields (hell...they can research things outside too). Someone in private industry is told what to research. There is a big distinction....not sure why you want to ignore it. And to say it again, I'm not talking about graduate students. Graduate students have to work on the things that people in the department are working on, but they are ahem...students.

You seem to be drawing all sorts of conclusions about academia from the student/teacher relationship. I'm not sure why you think that makes any sense.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Of course I think the goal is to lead to a product.
Then why did you say that "I think you both are assuming that the bulk of research coming out of industry is focused on the final product that will go up for sale"? Are you now making this assumption as well?

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
But, 50-70% of my time is supposed to be in research that adds to the body of knowledge.
Yeah, the key is what body of knowledge? Where do the directives come from? What are their goals? and so on. Considering the structure of your company you are unlikely to know the answers.

You are not spending 50~70% of your time researching whatever you think is interesting and important.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Nobody gives a flying fig how well the routine work is going, the stuff that actually brings a drug to market, because a monkey could do it.
You mean the people you speak with every day don't care about how the routine work is going, but the people actually running the company certainly care how its going. After all, your efficiency doing the routine work is important to their bottom line. But I really don't get your comment here in the first place, are you actually asserting that new drugs are developed merely out of "routine work"?

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I still think something could be learned.
Okay, tell me what can be learned by using a non-random sample that completely ignores the underlying mathematical picture (e.g., non-linear dynamical system).


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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I'm talking about pre-publication. And the competition I witnessed was based on egos, not science.
And this conflicts with the idea that academic research groups are insular. How would there be competition if the group was insular? Nobody would know about it.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by user_id View Post
No, generally speaking it is not. The bandwagon effect is a term that covers a wide range of behaviors. People will join the bandwagon even when they have information that tells them its wrong.

There is no question that the bandwagon effect plans a role in science, the history of science is filled with examples. The real issue is how one can limit its influence on the scientific process, academia at least tries to do something about it where as most private firms just make it worse.
I know it can play a role and has in science, but it's a stretch to believe that a company can bubble itself from one issue to the next. An international company to boot.

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And yet you think academia is some how more hierarchical. You can't even speak with the people who are in control of your company, which I may add is a sign of a company that has a thing for power and control.
Of course it has a thing for power. I'm simply stating the fact that I am not experiencing the influence of a sensei. You would like to conflate the hierarchy that exists in any job with influence and vulnerability. I'm not buying it.

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Yes people work within fields, but the people in academia can decide to research whatever they want within their fields (hell...they can research things outside too). Someone in private industry is told what to research. There is a big distinction....not sure why you want to ignore it.
Whether I do research at my company or take on a project with an adviser for the PhD, it's not going to be anything ol thing I want. Why you want to ignore that, I don't know.

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And to say it again, I'm not talking about graduate students. Graduate students have to work on the things that people in the department are working on, but they are ahem...students.
Have you read the title of this thread? Lets try to stay somewhere in the ball park of addressing the feasibility of the OP. My options do not include being a tenured professor or a rock star in industry. They are limited to grad student if I do the PhD.

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Then why did you say that "I think you both are assuming that the bulk of research coming out of industry is focused on the final product that will go up for sale"? Are you now making this assumption as well?
The suggestion that publications do not happen because of the closed-system in industry for the to-be patented drug is simply wrong. I don't know how else to say it. The intentions do not matter in this context. Prof from AB uni might be attempting to figure out gene expression for breast cancer for the greater good. A host of publications will result. Company AB might be attempting to figure out gene expression for breast can cancer to sell a drug. A host of publications will result. The data is produced regardless of intent. That's the point.

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Yeah, the key is what body of knowledge? Where do the directives come from? What are their goals? and so on. Considering the structure of your company you are unlikely to know the answers.
I only know what my boss asks of me. Those are her exact words. "You are expected to contribute to the body of knowledge".

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You are not spending 50~70% of your time researching whatever you think is interesting and important.
Not necessarily. I have to two goals in science. The first is to address Crohn's disease. My late brother had it. My family has lived with it and it's a horrible condition. That's pretty much why I went into science. The second is to help advance in vitro methods that can curb vivisection. I've been a vegetarian a good 20 years now, so it's an important subject for me. Of the two, I chose to work in group that addresses in vitro methods. So, on that end I do think my work is important. It's also pretty interesting. I consider myself lucky on that end. Frankly, it's another concern to add to the pot when considering the degree. My old boss put up with my views. Many would not.

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You mean the people you speak with every day don't care about how the routine work is going, but the people actually running the company certainly care how its going. After all, your efficiency doing the routine work is important to their bottom line. But I really don't get your comment here in the first place, are you actually asserting that new drugs are developed merely out of "routine work"?
At my level, yes. Of course it's expected that I do quality work. Again, to be clear, I'm in very early discovery. Not that you understand what that means, but we are not the projects teams that are developing specific compounds to go to proof of concept. The routine work could probably be done by a tech (maybe). Pretty much all the routine work in our dept is like that. We have robots and lots of automation. Our global head has made it clear that we are to be leaders in our field and have a place on the map. Again, maybe I lucked out here as well. What I study is pretty generic, in that I don't have to concern myself with products.

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Okay, tell me what can be learned by using a non-random sample that completely ignores the underlying mathematical picture (e.g., non-linear dynamical system).
It's pretty simple. Kodaka could have learned about Nature and peer review. You can learn the perspective from an insider in an international biotech. We have already established that you are solely unaware of the mountains of research/publications that come out every year in biotech that add to the body of knowledge. I could clue you in on my area. As stated, tho, if you already think you know everything, there's little to add.

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And this conflicts with the idea that academic research groups are insular. How would there be competition if the group was insular? Nobody would know about it.
How can you know the ego driving competitiveness that has little do with the science? Eh, by experiencing it I suppose or listening to others who have.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Braunwyn, have you thougth about maybe working less than full time while working on the PhD?

The conflict of interest issues would be real if you were trying to do, say, a clinical trial of a drug developed by your company and use this as part of your PhD as well, but you could probably find some sort of "pure research" that could do dual-duty as paying work and school work.

Some people where I work have worked on advanced degrees using topics that were part of the paying job - you just have to manage the COI issues.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Hi Mitch,

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Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Braunwyn, have you thougth about maybe working less than full time while working on the PhD?

The conflict of interest issues would be real if you were trying to do, say, a clinical trial of a drug developed by your company and use this as part of your PhD as well, but you could probably find some sort of "pure research" that could do dual-duty as paying work and school work.
I wouldn't and couldn't do anything that involved a compound developed at my company (that isn't commercially available). I would do something generic. For example as a shot in the dark using phospholipidosis (PLD) since I've brought it up in this thread- PLD is a side effect of certain kinds of molecules that result in lipid accumulation in cells. Molecules that tend to induce PLD are typically cationic amphipillic molecues. What this means is that they have certain chemical properties that when introduced to a cellular membrane they can bond and promote fat formation that the cell cannot deal with. This can be target (organ/site) specific. So, a person can address this topic, while focussing on a particular target, without noting a specific cationic amphillic drug (CAD). It doesn't matter what the drug is, and there are many of them (antibiotics, anti-drepressants, etc), what matters is the chemical properties. Or, perhaps genetics are involved. Maybe diet. Maybe drug-drug interaction. Who knows. There are lots of areas to investigate.

This is where I think some posters get confused.

Quote:
Some people where I work have worked on advanced degrees using topics that were part of the paying job - you just have to manage the COI issues.
I'm sorry, I'm drinking some wine right now. What's COI again?
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,469 posts, read 19,704,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I know it can play a role and has in science, but it's a stretch to believe that a company can bubble itself from one issue to the next.
I'm not sure what you mean by "bubble itself", the point is that cognitive biases (in particular the bandwagon effect) are always in play and private industry does not deal with them as well as academia does. This does not mean every piece of research coming out of private industry is tainted, just that its more likely to be tainted than research coming out of academia.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Of course it has a thing for power. I'm simply stating the fact that I am not experiencing the influence of a sensei.
There is really no "of course" about it, not all companies structure themselves this way. But the ones that do have very rigid hierarchical structures. Anyhow, I've never spoken about a "sensei" and if you are not aware of the influence of those above you then you aren't paying attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
Whether I do research at my company or take on a project with an adviser for the PhD, it's not going to be anything ol thing I want. Why you want to ignore that, I don't know.
What relevance does this have to the issue (the issue being discussed, not the thread title)? Yes being a grad student is in some respects like working for a private company, but people don't remain grad students all their life. The vast majority of research in academia is published by professors, not graduate students.

And just in case you were not aware we have been discussing a tangent that came up earlier in the thread. Namely whether research in private industry is less credible than research in academia. If you wanted to keep the thread on the primary topic then I'd suggest not going back and forward on a side issue with me and others. I was merely commenting on a tangent that already existed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
The suggestion that publications do not happen because of the closed-system in industry for the to-be patented drug is simply wrong.
Good thing I never made that suggestion huh? But a company will have trouble patenting something if they published the key IP before the patent was applied for. Furthermore, patents themselves create a closed system. Even if you know how XYZ is done, you can't do it yourself because there is a patent.

Patents are a necessary evil in the business world, but they create significant distractions in the development of human knowledge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
A host of publications will result. The data is produced regardless of intent. That's the point.
Nothing is produced "regardless intent", intent always plays a role in any development. Again, this is all well documented in psychology. There is a strong intent-behavior link...

You keep making claims about human behavior, but none of them are founded in reality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
....Of the two, I chose to work in group that addresses in vitro methods. So, on that end I do think my work is important. It's also pretty interesting.
This is of course not the point, if you just happen to be working on something you'd want to work on regardless then great. But this does not change the fact that you don't have the ability to work on whatever you'd like. A academic as the freedom to move from one sub-field to another without much problem someone in private industry rarely has this freedom.

I'm not sure why you want to deny all the things that make academia different than private industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
At my level, yes. Of course it's expected that I do quality work. Again, to be clear, I'm in very early discovery.
I realize that "at your level" you are not ware of what is going on with the company, but that is just the point. You don't even know the underlying business goals how possibly could you know to what degree they effect what you are doing?!? You keep claiming how much insight you have because you work in a private industry, but the reality is that you're just a cog and you know almost nothing about how the machine as a whole operates (and just to note, this is not necessarily a bad thing). "Early discovery" is just one node (that you are just one piece of) in the overall structure, obviously what you do is connected to numerous other nodes. Most importantly not only is there information flowing out of your node, but there is significant information flowing into your node from upper management, etc. On the other hand research in academia does not really have child nodes, there is nobody pulling the strings and the research is largely self-directed.

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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I could clue you in on my area. As stated, tho, if you already think you know everything, there's little to add.
Now if only you'd take your own advice. You continually think you are some sort of sage because you are a mid-level researcher at some large private company. The issues I'm discussing are mathematical and psychological in nature as a result your personal experience is not only irrelevant, but you are making a huge logical mistake by focusing on it. If I was telling you how you should perform your particular research I would be out of my element, but talking about organizational structures and dynamical systems is very much my element. Luckily I'm talking about the latter, but you want to pretend as if I'm talking about the former.

With regard to the issue of research in academia vs private industry the key issues are the emergent properties of the general policies and organizational structure of the respective research environments. Looking at a single variable in either case is going to tell you nothing due to the non-linearity in these systems. But you seem to have no idea what any of this means, so its a bit pointless to go on about it. As stated, if you already think you know everything, there's little to add.

Last edited by user_id; 05-10-2010 at 07:53 PM..
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