US: Big oil money can influence research, study claims

Research universities that accept millions of dollars from oil companies have failed to shield themselves from corporate influence, according to a new study that faults the University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford and seven others, writes Nanette Asimov for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Such cosy relationships give energy companies too much control in deciding what research to fund and what faculty should study, says the report from the Center for American Progress, a Washington DC think-tank headed by John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

The three California universities named in the report, Big Oil Goes to College, strongly disputed its conclusions. The report found no evidence of compromised research in its study of 10 multi-year, multimillion-dollar contracts between universities and corporate sponsors.
Full report on the San Francisco Chronicle site