Stanford University/Stanford University Policy on Tobacco Industry Funding

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On May 19 2007, the Faculty Senate at Stanford University voted 21-10 against a resolution that would have banned tobacco companies from funding University research. [1]

The proposed resolution stated that "Stanford University will not enter into sponsored research agreements with companies that make or market tobacco products." Andrew Fire, Professor of Pathology and Genetics, argued that the resolution should be supported as "this research is very effectively used by the tobacco industry to increase the rate of smoking". Another supporter was Law Professor Hank Greely who argued that "the tobacco industry has caused, is causing and will continue to cause incredible human carnage around the world," Greely said. “We should not help them. We should do the right thing."[1]

The resolution was opposed by senate members on the grounds that it would affect "academic freedom" and could be later extend to affect funding from other industries and controversial government agencies. Provost John Etchemendy argued that the proposal is not about research, but about issues of academic freedom". Stanford University President, John Hennessy, argued that if adopted, the proposal would set a precedent that could be used to expand the ban to include major funders of the university such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and oil companies BP and Exxon-Mobil. Hennessy told the senate that these organisation provided a large amount of funding for the institution.[1]



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