March 9, 2007 12:41 PM

The multinational energy company is coming, the multinational energy company is coming!

So maybe you’ve heard that our school is getting 500 million dollars from the multinational energy company formally known as "British Petrol" for the development for alternative fuels? "BP" seems to be as nice as you could hope a faceless multinational company would be - on the one hand they are the worlds leading producer of solar cells in the world, and on the other hand they've just extricated themselves from a very dodgy situation in Columbia involving paramilitary forces and local farmers.

I got a chance to attend a student round table discussion with Dean Ludden of the College of Natural Resources. A lot of the CNR students are really upset about this deal. From what I heard at the meeting some of the money is earmarked for the bioengineering of new enzymes to pull more fossil fuels out of our drying wells and 10 BP employees will become faculty here at Berkeley. Tenure track, student instructing, public statement issuing faculty. O_O Boy, this certainly doesn’t seem like a morally ambiguous situation!

The discussion was moderated by Professor of Bioethics, David Winickoff. He recommended the formation of a student ethics group to watch over the program. I’ve got a meeting on Monday with him to talk about what can and ought to be done. It's hard to keep up, this past week has been somewhat psychotic, midterms and papers and exploding roommates for days.

"One if by land, two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm."

Eric Thurston | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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