Academic Independence Needs to Be Safeguarded in the Netherlands

Research conducted by universities is increasingly compromised by the companies or the organizations who commission it, the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has said in an advisory report out on 13 March. Although the academy has not found "any signs of structural self-censorship or lack of diversity of perspective," the government and politicians have to remain "alert" to the danger of socially relevant research curtailing academic freedom and "undesirable influence from a financier on methods, interpretation and publication of results," the KNAW writes.