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ERIC Number: EJ907601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
BP, Corporate R&D, and the University
Lea, Russ
Academe, v96 n6 p20-21 Nov-Dec 2010
April 20, 2010, and the days following, provided the world with graphic images of a burning oil rig, a perception that the oil industry and state and federal governments were helpless, and a pervasive sense of the devastation wrought on coastal residents by the rig explosion and the oil spill. The residents of the Gulf Coast soon realized that this oil "spill" was more like an underwater gusher. Within weeks of April 20, British Petroleum's (BP's) legal teams started approaching faculty members in marine sciences as well as those at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. They discussed providing faculty members with legal assistance, enlisting their help with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, and conducting BP-funded research. In the initial discussions, BP representatives told faculty members that they could conduct new research but that they could not publish the results or make them available to the public for three years or longer. BP's approach was unusual in another respect: the company tried to employ academics as consultants and enter into research agreements using the same contract. The author shares some lessons from the oil spill and BP experience. The author contends that the lessons from the oil spill are simple: public universities should not agree to restrictive contracts that limit research, publication, or transparency. A draft of the British Petroleum Project Agreement is presented.
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A