Kelly Jewett 
Member since May 16, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Unclean Hands at the Gill Tract?

Geez, sorry...I don't mean to be clogging the msg board here, but one last thing, I promise this is the last. In direct response to your very first comment, Walt; information is always created by people. Thus, if the people who create the information are corrupt, then the information itself stands to be corrupt.

I am not making any claims about the moral standing of the researchers here, just a comment about the nature of knowledge/information production itself.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Kelly Jewett on 05/25/2012 at 11:26 AM

Re: “Unclean Hands at the Gill Tract?

Just another two cents from the peanut gallery... If you would like to read some revealing research on the applications of genetic knowledge, the production and sales of GMO technology, and the big agribusiness culture in which this debate actually exists, please check out Sonoma State University's Project Censored and their coverage of GMO companies/production of GMO knowledge/technologies.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kelly Jewett on 05/25/2012 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Unclean Hands at the Gill Tract?

Walt, I would just like to point out something that I see as a deficiency in your gunpowder analogy. You point out that the inventors of gunpowder are not morally responsible for the deaths of those who fall by gunshot. You rightly point out that guns did not exist when gunpowder (black powder, since they obviously would not have known to call it gun powder yet, right...) was invented. Therefore, yes, it does not make sense blame guns on the inventors of gun powder.

However, in the case of genetic isolation and the creation of such genetic knowledge, the technology does exist concurrently with the knowledge as it is being created. You could claim that the researchers are ignorant of the applications of the knowledge that they are creating, but that would, in all reality, most probably turn out to be a foolish claim. Therefore, it seems to me that the researchers should be held accountable for the applications, as well as, the creation of their genetic knowledge. In the fast paced scientific era that we live in, knowledge can literally go from being inert to being applied in a matter of months, days even...

If this debate about academic freedom, knowledge production, researcher autonomy and such really interests you I would like to recommend a very good and new book on the subject. The book is: Science in Democratic Society by Phillip Kitcher. He is one of today's leading philosophers of science. His book sheds much light on this debate.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kelly Jewett on 05/25/2012 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Unclean Hands at the Gill Tract?

I would like to bring up another point... If the university made $182 million dollars off of its patented technologies alone, why was an 82% student fee increase narrowly averted (by student protests) last year? The University claims that these funds are in some part put back into the general fund. However, with the continuous increases in tuition, my faith in the truth of this claim is quite withered.

In response to the question of intellectual responsibility, it is a tall and unfounded claim to say that basic research is wholly question and not profit driven. The fact that some of the researchers are cited as the inventors of the technology patented points directly to the profit motive. I do not know this for a fact, but it seems that a researcher would most likely be paid more for research that creates knowledge/technologies that are patented.

For me the real crux of the argument is that the researchers have repeatedly insisted that their research has nothing to do with genetic modification of organisms and the agendas of big agribusiness despite the fact that they must know what their research has been applied to and helped create in the past. Whether or not they agree with the agendas of agribusiness is not really the pertinent question at hand. The pertinent question is whether or not what they create is used by big agribusiness, and while the researchers claim that what they create does not support big agribusiness, at look at the patents and invention rights shows a much different story.

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Kelly Jewett on 05/16/2012 at 2:13 PM

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