The Washington University-Monsanto relationship has supported innovation in the biological sciences. It has done so in part by making the fence between an industrial and an academic institution more transparent and more easy to cross. A unique means of promoting intellectual adventurism may be lost, however, if this type of relationship is not structured to maximize the likelihood of obtaining products or if products are the only financial benefit that the industrial partner can derive from such interactions (for example other benefits could include governmental R&D tax credits for those relationships that satisfy some minimal criteria for size and/or length of commitment). I hope that this and other forms of industrial-university relationships that encourage discovery by providing institutional support for new ideas will flourish. Whatever their fate, the responsibility for promoting dreams must be shared by all of us: by those who are privileged to have students in their labs, by academic institutions as they seek to define their roles in the next century, by peer review boards, by national science policymakers, and perhaps by industry. I have presented the Washington University-Monsanto collaboration not as a complete answer to the question of how to promote intellectual adventurism in the biomedical sciences but rather as a concrete response to a problem that must be clearly articulated, thoroughly examined, and creatively addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalThe Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha-Honor Medical Society. Alpha Omega Alpha
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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