Considering the role of the university in conducting research on agri-biotechnologies

Rick Welsh, Leland Glenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Private sector firms have dominated the research, development, and commercialization processes for transgenic crops. This has led to a narrow focus on a few commercially important crops and engineered traits, while minor crops and traits remain largely ignored. Analysts have decried this situation and called for more public-centered research regimes, such as research on minor crops and traits. Universities are often identified as places where research on the more minor crops and traits should occur. The burgeoning literature on the changing structure of the university toward an institution more aligned with private for-profit sector interests and orientations calls these arguments into question. Using time series data from 1993-2002 obtained from the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we find that over time, university research on transgenic crops has increasingly mirrored the research profile of for-profit firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-942
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic capitalism
  • Animal and plant health inspection service
  • Minor crops
  • Traits
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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