Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2013


This paper compares and contrasts two models for conducting science: that of the patent-driven intellectual property rights regime, and that of the popular-interest driven civilian science regime. To frame this comparison in less abstract terms, the paper presents maca (Lepidium meyenii) as a case study of the struggles of different interest groups to patent scientific innovation or keep it in the public domain. I find that for reasons of finance, human resources, and infrastructure, Peru and the other member-states of the Andean Community of Nations are pulled towards a patent-driven intellectual property rights regime. However for reasons of avoiding regional competition, maintaining national sovereignty, and fostering national pride these nations might seek to further develop civilian science programs. Ultimately I conclude that neither model, as practiced in the Global North, is appropriate for the Andean Community of Nations. Rather a hybrid of these two scientific regimes is required to address the specific issues of scientific innovation in a biologically megadiverse developing nation.


International and Area Studies