Big Oil U.

A new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) suggests that U.S. universities may be jeopardizing their academic integrity by giving oil, gas, and other polluting industries influence over the research that companies fund on campus. CSPI surveyed nine universities with industry-funded research programs studying global warming, including the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois, Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of California at Davis. It found that many of them let corporate executives sit on boards overseeing grants, gave companies first rights to intellectual property, and let companies review and possibly delay publication of studies. "It's a cheap subterfuge for carbon-emitting companies," said Merrill Goozner, director of the Integrity in Science project at CSPI and co-author of the report. "They get the prestige of associating themselves with major respected universities, yet can control the direction of research, get first rights to intellectual property, and can delay any finding that doesn't help the bottom line."