The Two Cultures of Science: Implications for University-Industry Relationships in US Agriculture Biotechnology

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
12pm to 1pm with lunch to follow
Library,Evans Hall 768 
Professor of Sociology in the Department of Human Ecology, University of California, Davis

Partnerships between U.S. universities and industries have existed for several decades and in recent years have become generally more varied, wider in scope, more aggressive and experimental and higher in public visibility. In addition, in the last few decades, public and private interests have advocated for government policies and laws to globally promote the commercialization of university science.

This presentation examines the persistence or convergence of the two cultures of science in the university and industry and the implications of the commercialization of research for university-industry relationships in agriculture biotechnology.  The findings reveal that the participants (over 200 U.S. university and industry scientists, managers and administrations)  in these research relationships continue to perceive very distinct cultures of science and identify a wide range of concerns and disadvantages of these partnerships.  Several actions will be presented to ensure that the two cultures serve complementary roles and that they maximize the public benefits from these increasing collaborations.


William B. Lacy is a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Human Ecology and was the founding Vice Provost for University Outreach and International Programs from 1999-2014 at the University of California, Davis. He has been a full professor and administrator at Cornell University, Penn State University, and the University of Kentucky, president of three professional organizations, co-author or co-editor of six books on education, science policy, agricultural research and extension, biotechnology and biodiversity, and a fellow in the American Association for the Advanced of Science.