New Report Reveals Google’s Extensive Financial Support for Academia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2017
Contact: Daniel Stevens, 202.780.5750, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability released a new report, Google Academics Inc., revealing Google’s extensive financial support for academics and policy experts. CfA identified 329 research papers published between 2005 and 2017 on public policy matters of interest to Google that were in some way funded by the company.
CfA Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, said, “Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policy makers at every level. At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”
Google Academics Inc. examines the contours of Google’s academic influence machine. For instance, the report reveals that the number of Google-funded studies spiked during periods when its business model was under threat from regulators and when opportunities arose to push for new regulations on its competitors.
Google-funded studies are published by a wide variety of sources, and often blur the line between academic research and paid advocacy. Reports funded by the company have been authored by academics and economists hailing from some of the nation’s leading law schools and universities, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT, as well as some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, including Oxford, Edinburgh, and the Berlin School of Economics.
Google’s paid-policy research has broad reach and may have influenced policymakers unaware of the company’s role. Google lobbyists and lawyers pushed Google-funded research to journalists, the White House, Congress, and agency regulators investigating its conduct, such as the Federal Trade Commission, often without disclosing that the funding.
Mr. Stevens continued, “What’s good for Google is not necessarily good for the country. Google-funded academics should disclose the source of their funding to ensure their work is evaluated in context and the government makes decisions that benefit all Americans, not just Google employees and stockholders.”
For more information about CfA’s efforts to shine a light on Google, visit the Google Transparency Project at http://googletransparencyproject.org/.
UPDATE: Earlier today, Leslie Miller, Google’s Director of Public Policy, wrote a blog post responding to Campaign for Accountability’s (CfA) new report, Google Academics Inc. In response, CfA Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, released the following statement.
“Whenever Google’s bad behavior is exposed, it invariably points the finger at someone else. Instead of deflecting blame, Google should address its record of academic astroturfing, which puts it in the same league as Big Oil and Big Tobacco. Also, a little perspective: CfA is a small nonprofit organization. In contrast, Google is one of the largest, most powerful and richest companies on the planet.
“We think our work speaks for itself. Over the past 18 months, the Google Transparency Project has documented more than 425 White House meetings by Google lobbyists, 250 revolving door hires between Google and government and more than 325 academic papers paid for by the company to help advance its policy interests. All of the underlying data is published on the site, along with more than 40,000 pages of Google emails with US government officials. The data in the report has also been subject to analysis by The Wall Street Journal, which cited the data in its own investigative article today.”
CfA is a non-profit 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.