A Truly Independent Research University

by George Leef

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, Terence Kealey argues that the U.S. needs to have at least one truly independent research university — i.e., a university beholden neither to government nor to commercial interests for its research funding. Kealey, author of an extraordinary book The Economic Laws of Scientific Research, is a scientist and scholar who currently serves as vice chancellor of Britain’s University of Buckingham, which provides the model for the kind of university he would like to see here.

In his piece, Kealey recounts some fascinating history. Initially, most academic researchers in America thought that funding from the federal government was a bad idea and resisted it. Once that funding began, however, they easily become habituated to it.