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Laudable liaisons, dangerous company and critical anthropology: under what circumstances should anthropologists make research relations with industry?
Simone Dennis (Australian National University)
Andrew Dawson (University of Melbourne)
Time zone:
Thursday 23 July, 8:30-10:15, 11:00-12:45

Short abstract:

Research is often funded by interested parties- an alcohol education body, for instance. Working with industry,though, may be regarded with suspicion by fellow researchers. But are our research relations best arrayed along lines of laudability?

Long abstract:

Research is often funded by interested parties - the Cancer Council and the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education, that deal with smoking cessation and alcohol regulation respectively, spring instantly to mind. Such associations are regarded in quite different terms than, say, a research relationship forged with the tobacco, alcohol or fast food industries. Agreeing to work with the latter group would indubitably raise the liveliest of suspicions among fellow researchers. In this panel, we're interested in examining the grounds upon which we might work with industry and interested parties. We do not think that we ought instantly and without due consideration take up ostensibly laudable research, such as that carried out by good citizens trying to address significant problems, just as much as we think it intellectually unsophisticated to automatically reject research alignments with industry players with financial or other peculiar interest in the field of enquiry. We invite papers that consider the bases upon which we should and should not make research associations. So doing raises serious questions about the critical edges of disciplinary enquiry, and the need to keep them open and sharp.