Category Archives: Social Science

How a Moloch state defends its own

A while ago, I was going around with someone about a technical bit in Bayh-Dole. She thought my position was “baloney” because her lawyers had said it was. The language in the law, though, doesn’t support her position, nor do … Continue reading

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Would lowering drug prices really reduce research on cures and remedies?

Vox recently published an article on the high price of drugs, “The true story of America’s sky-high prescription drug prices.” Here are three sentences that make a claim worth considering: What’s harder to see is that if we did lower drug … Continue reading

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Poppy fields forever

The great challenge with a received view is to see the world afresh, without the habitual cognitive anchors–to move free of the anchors–the assumptions, the chosen dichotomies, the methods of classifying, the rationales, the take on historical context–to work out what we should … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole and the Keys to the Gates of Heaven, Part 2

There are plenty of people who have not adopted the usual narrative regarding Bayh-Dole. They may not have heard of Bayh-Dole, and they might not know much about university research, other than that there sure seems to be a lot … Continue reading

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Bayh-Dole and the Keys to the Gates of Heaven, Part 1

Overcoming a usual narrative is takes tremendous work. There are many arguments against doing so: the received view is true; working against best practices can create liability or distrust; challenging the status quo can hurt one’s career; refusing to accept the … Continue reading

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Was Vannevar Bush So Wrong?

Over at Science of Science Policy there’s more discussion of Vannevar Bush, this time attributing to Bush the “linear model” of innovation that asserts that basic research leads to discoveries that applied research then prepares for development into commercial products, … Continue reading

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Things universities can do with patents

A patent has many uses.  A patent can be used to: exclude others from using an invention the patent owner is using prevent others from using an invention the patent owner is not using extract payments from users or companies wanting to market products … Continue reading

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The Public Research Patent Covenant–Narrative Version

The Institutional Patent Agreement approach to patent rights arising from federally supported research carried with it what we may call a public covenant, a set of conditions that run with each patent on a subject invention that place limits on … Continue reading

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Science at the Frontier and the Effect of the Linear Model

In Science the Endless Frontier, Vannevar Bush proposed federal funding to universities to expand the frontiers of science. Folks these days focus on the science part of Bush’s proposal and his advocacy for funding research at universities. They skip over the idea … Continue reading

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The Purpose of the Patent System for University Research

There is a general argument that the patent is a pretty useful cultural tool to stimulate and reward technological innovation. The owner of a patent has the right to exclude others from practicing (making, having made, using, selling, offering for … Continue reading

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