Thursday, September 04, 2008

Caution: Synergies Ahead

Right about here, "the usual suspects" begin to get a little nervous. After all, another wave of "dialogue" is starting among economic-development officials, scientists, private-equity investors and others. Many of us are not entirely sure how to behave at this party. 'Will they respect my academic integrity and accept my lack of enthusiasm for commerce? Will they look on profit and commercialization as dirty words? Can they be trusted?' Tennessee Technology Development Corporation is going to great lengths to create in its Nov. 20-21 Tennessee Innnovation Conference an environment that is comfortable and productive for diverse actors. Back on campus at VU, Chancellor Zeppos has issued repeated assurances that continued funding of crucial academic inquiry will not be tainted by non-academic pressures -- other than to perhaps to demonstrate to scholar-peers the academic value of research. After all, there are only so many dollars to go around. What will result from all this? Time will tell.

No comments: