GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 263
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Scientific research should be carried out and controlled by the government rather than private institutions.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
In decades, scientific research has dramatically moved into the private sector to the extent that today the lion’s share of scientific research is undertaken and funded by private corporations. As a reaction, a substantial number of academics have expressed deep concern about the current tendency and urged governments to conduct and control scientific research. And, I entirely concur with the opinion that the government should be in charge of important research.
The primary rationale for the government to conduct scientific research is that, without such intervention, the private market might exert a negative influence on scientists. Thus scientists might be influenced by generous funding schemes, and they might compromise the quality of scientific research. To cap it all, the monetary conflicts of interest have a statistically profound impact on research results. The commercialisation of science and research, therefore, poses a serious threat to scientific rationality as it might put the normative standards of scientific discovery in jeopardy. This is why governments should shoulder the responsibility of conducting and controlling scientific research.
In addition, commercially-driven research faces crucial epistemic challenges. Many of these epistemological limitations have a decisive social impact. For example, the subtler mechanisms and scientific fraud that have been manipulated by the private sector to impede the production of knowledge, in cases such as drug development, tobacco smoking, and climate change, do not only adversely affect the quality of knowledge generated but also the individuals who depend on that knowledge. In consequence, the lack of proper knowledge has put both humans and the environment in jeopardy. Apart from that, intellectual property rights are another shortcoming of private sectors to consider. It gives private corporations control over corporate-funded research, and this, thereafter, impedes further research initiatives.
To conclude, financial conflict of interest, epistemic challenges, and intellectual property rights are severe shortcomings of industry-driven research, thus providing a rationale for governments to conduct and control scientific research.