The Price of Research

He never imagined just how unenthusiastic his research sponsors — and others with a financial stake in atrazine — would be about his discovery. | Six frustrating years later, Mr. Hayes and his defenders say they know only too well the lengths to which those companies will go to undermine his findings that atrazine may be harmful. —Goldie BlumenstykThe Price of Research (Chronicle)

The author of this article is careful to check with scientists who say they were unable to repeat Hayes’s findings. It would be an irresponsible exaggeration to claim that all corporate research is biased, or that research funded by non-profits or governments is free from similar pressure. In my “Practice of Journalism” class, we are learning to be skeptical of the statistics quoted in agenda-driven press releases, but this article shows the opportunities for the misuse of science are much broader.

P.S. Goldie Blumenstyk? Really?