Google Transparency Project Releases Database of 3,000 Grants Awarded to Academic Researchers by Google
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2019
Contact: Bryan Dewan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group that runs the Google Transparency Project, released a new database of 2,951 financial awards made by Google to academic researchers working in both public policy and non-public policy-oriented disciplines. The database is a comprehensive, user friendly archive of all of the grants that Google discloses on its website.
Google discloses its grants to academics and researchers on its website, but the disclosure pages are cumbersome to navigate and impossible to search by name. CfA’s new database is intended to be easily searchable and accessible for anyone to use.
In 2017, the Google Transparency Project published an investigation into Google’s relationships with academics. That report and the accompanying database focused on scholars who wrote about public policy issues of interest to Google, like antitrust law, copyright issues, and privacy. It did not include the thousands of grants that Google gives to computer scientists and other academics. CfA’s new dataset provides a complete catalog of the grants Google has disclosed.
The database includes grants to academics in disciplines beyond the arena of public policy. For example, at least four Google-funded computer scientists, Harold (“Hal”) Ableson, Stuart Shieber, Dan Wallach, and Terry Winograd, signed on to a 2012 amicus brief supporting Google’s position in a lawsuit regarding the copyright implications of Google Books. A fifth computer scientist, L. Jean Camp, received a research award from Google the year after she signed on to the brief.
CfA Executive Director Daniel Stevens said, “Google relies on company-funded academics to support its policy agenda. CfA’s new database provides a complete accounting of Google’s efforts to support a wide array of academics including researchers in seemingly apolitical disciplines. This new database is intended to shed light on the relationships Google has built with academics who may be helping to advance Google’s business agenda.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.