Open Access

"Commercial revolution" of science: the complex reality and experience of genetic and genomic scientists

  • Isabelle Ganache
Genomics, Society and Policy20062:96

DOI: 10.1186/1746-5354-2-3-96

Published: 15 December 2006


According to advocates and authors from different disciplines interested in biomedicine, biomedical research in genetics and genomics has the potential to transform medicine, the economy, society, and humanity as a whole. Believing in this potential, biomedical scientists produce knowledge and participate in the decisions concerning the orientation of this research and its applications. Through a qualitative analysis of scientists' practice-related discourse, we identified three main sources of complexity in their involvement in the "commercial revolution" of science. First, scientists insist on the existence of different types of university-industry relationships. Second, they urge that the multiple realities of genetic and genomic research be acknowledged. Third, they present themselves as individuals in a diverse scientific community, each with a unique position in this commercial revolution. This paper draws attention to these complexities because they must be considered when engaging in a study of genetics and genomics advances from a research ethics perspective.