Is it possible for any company to "buy" science?

A claim often made by various conspiracy theorists is that the "Big X" has paid/bought the scientists endorsing it. Let's consider that.

Is it possible for any company to buy science?

First off, we must consider how many scientists there are. I know that there are about 200 countries in the world. Some of them are large; some are small. My own country is small, but does feature a number of universities (Netherlands).

If we take my country as an average, I'd guess there are about six universities with ten people per university in any field. This means that there are 200 * 6 * 10 = 12 000 scientists in any field, worldwide.

What would it cost for a scientist to sell his integrity? Depending on the region, less or more than you'd expect. In my own country, I'd value it rather high; after all, I'm in a field where it's relatively certain that I will have a (reasonably well-paid) job.

In others, e.g. the states, research grants are so arbitrary that scientists are less sure. Let's say that they're somewhat cheaper.

In fact, let's assume the minimum wage of my country as an indication. If I'd sell my integrity, I'd want to be settled. I'd guess about 40 is a good average age; that'd mean about 25 years at minimum wage.

As a result, we'd be looking at about 12 thousand per year, for 25 years, for 12000 scientists. 12 000 * 25 * 12 000 = 3 600 000 000 . So, that's looking at 3.6 billion euro (Currently similar to dollar; 3.77 billion dollar) for cheap integrity and a low number of scientists.

Mosanto makes about 16 billion dollar per year, with about 22 000 employees. Guess what.

For pharmaceuticals, the numbers are somewhat bigger, given the number of people working in medicine. We (apparently) have 67 000 GP/Family-doctors in the country. Most of these heavily endorse vaccines. Let's say, 60 000 of them. Remember that I estimated only 60 per field in my country; for GP's that'd be a thousand times more. As a result, you'd need a thousand times more money to buy them all, if we again take my country as an average for those 200 countries worldwide. So, any industry able to buy them all should make sufficiently more than 3 600 billion dollar. Turns out, that's ten times more than the global pharmaceutical industry. The psychological helpers are only good for about ten, anyway.

There's actually no industry that can pay that. So, suck it, any-sort-of-medical-conspiracy-theorist.

As always, use your own mind first and foremost. It's not as if this was a hard calculation to do. 

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