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Who Owns Science?

The way in which access to technologies is facilitated and controlled, is having an increasing impact on the course of science and innovation. The idea of ownership of science and technology is particularly important in the context of profiting from research and development.

Our research will consider the justifications for existing intellectual property (IP) laws, which at present include the idea that it is necessary to facilitate scientific and economic benefit from innovation, and that it provides a fair and morally justifiable way of regulating access to these benefits.

The current method of managing innovation (and in particular IP) may have adverse effects on science and economic efficiency, and raises ethical issues because of its (often adverse) effects on people and populations. Whether this is in fact the case and, if so, what can be done about it is a broad question that requires investigation across a number of disciplines including law, economics, ethics and philosophy.

Who Owns Science? was the focus of the iSEI launch event (see News and Events):