The corporate assault on universities has been part
of a deliberate campaign to reintroduce power onto
campuses, after the activism of the 1960's had largely
discredited corporate sponsorship.
LEONARD MINSKY, National Coalition
for Universities in the Public Interest
The morning fog had lifted, leaving a slight chill in the air. The campus was quiet, expectant. It was late November 1998, and the big game with Stanford was coming up. The university had called a press conference to announce an unprecedented agreement with Novartis, a Swiss multinational corporation, now Syngenta. Novartis was giving $25 million to Berkeley's Plant and Microbial Biology Department. The University of California (UC) wanted the money to fund research in plant genetics. The question hanging in the air was, did this agreement violate the university's public mission, effectively privatizing research at one of the nation's great land-grant institutions?
The press conference was held in Koshland Hall, named for Professor Daniel Koshland. Koshland has the unique distinction of having been present at two of the most important scientific revolutions of the twentieth century. He worked on the Manhattan Project, which created the first nuclear weapons, and he partic-