In many countries there is a strong community consensus opposed to the tobacco industry and its activities, and most Australian universities have banned the receipt of tobacco industry research funding. Alcohol industry funding of research has received comparatively little attention from advocates and, arguably, medical science as a whole is ambivalent about the practice. Accepting such funding has the obvious benefit of increasing university revenue. Notably, however, recent research suggests that in Europe and North America the alcohol industry makes a relatively small contribution to scientific research, one which is apparently designed to aid it in shaping research agendas and enhancing the industry’s credibility as socially responsible. This practice exposes researchers and universities to significant ethical risks, and it is unclear whether these risks are properly considered in the decision to accept such funding.