With the average age of academics pegged at around 50, it’s no wonder that many neuroscientists either don’t want their work openly available for mass exploitation or are openly hostile to it. It’s our opinion that the coming wave of neuroscientists won’t just understand how to commercialisie their results – they’ll be its biggest advocates.
Is the Older Generations Loss the Next Generation’s Gain?
It would be wrong to say that the older generation don’t understand the value of commercialising neuroscience – many do. Nevertheless, the sheer amount of neuro support implicated in products from drinks to sportswear suggests that industries biggest supporters are the young.
Time flies though and the current crop of academics will soon retire or stand down to be replaced by a younger generation that are forward-thinking. To them, commercialising research will be something that’s accepted, like the iPhone. Soon enough, it’ll be all they’ve ever known.
But how will this reflect on the industry? Most consumers are far less fussy about hard scientific evidence than academics. A concept that academics have been struggling with for many years. Consumers simply want to make the best choices either for themselves or for their families. If this means they’re investing in products that have little evidence to support the claims, then so be it.
The Neuroscientists Perspective
The shocking truth is that the opportunities to generalise neuroscience research are very limited. As interest in neuroscience grows, more products are entering the market that lack actual neuroscience evidence, with their primary focus to influence the public into buying.
This is the main reason that many neuo based products are rejected outright by neuroscientists. As the link to results is so tenuous, showing support is unacceptable within the neuroscientist community.
However, as society advances, the new generation of neuroscientists may even be required to define their results to wider society. Ensuring that many more of the products tagged with the ‘brain’, ‘neuro’ or ‘think’ label will be on the market. Hopefully with an ethical neuroscientist at the helm of the campaign, the labels will accurately represent the results.