Should I work for an “evil” company?

The reader writes with a question that is difficult to answer. I thought it would be better to ask a question to you, our readers; I hope you will help him find the way to the right solution.


I am an academic plant geneticist who has worked in [a renowned academic institution] over the past five years. I almost decided that I wanted to leave the academy, but stay in science. The obvious direction for further development is biotechnology, and I think I could be a good fit for that. There are many options for me in biotechnology and I have applied for many positions. The company that responded the most to my questions is Monsanto.

I am confident that Monsanto will be a great employer for the reasons I would like to work in biotech (stability, good pay/perks and collaboration). However, most consider it perhaps the most “evil” company. I’m sure I would lose a lot of friends if I worked for them. Besides, I doubt that I would dare to tell strangers that I worked for them.

I myself have not decided how I feel about the company. I think they’ve done some nasty things in the past, but so do most big corporations. I’m more of a GMO proponent than most, but I have my doubts too. I understand the need for the company to patent the seeds. I doubt that I would do evil work for them and would not do it if I knew that this was the case.

Interesting, would you be interested to know how people decide to work in companies that most people hate. I doubt that all these people are dead inside. Maybe most people can easily make the decision to work for famous “evil” companies or not, but I don’t see it as a clear black or white.