The Lancet of Dec 6, 2008 shows an excellent example of independent science (and in particular public health research) and gives an account why this is necessary although I agree with the author
I am sure that Coca-Cola will find other universities eager to pluck the low-hanging fruit of industry-sponsored research. If my experience is anything to go by, not much plucking will be necessary. A research proposal will be written for them and a research grant will be plopped into the open mouths of their university’s finance department while their academic egos are stroked by the company’s scientists. What a sad abuse of the rare freedom granted to publicly funded academics to seek answers to socially important questions.
And what a nice coincidence with a paper in Nature Medicine about the commercialism of academic research plus some earlier posts here, yea, yea.