[EAS]Respectability for Sale?

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Mon May 21 13:20:23 EDT 2001

Subject:   Respectability for Sale?

Going for gold 
Scientists should disclose their financial interests, and let the
world decide what to think about them

"SCIENTISTS at the McDonald's Centre for Obesity Research suggest
that eating a hamburger a day actually reduces cholesterol levels."
Well, we made that up. However, this kind of company-backed
research is becoming more common, and is undermining the fragile
trust in science held by a public that has been fed a few too many
(more at)
http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=626476 (editorial)
http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=623876 (article)

Hardly a new story, but a source of renewed concern, as the
"because I deserve it" attitude that first gained prominence in TV
commercials for women's hair color asserts itself among academics. 

Most vulnerable are institutions not inoculated with past
experience of looking incisively at such funding on a case by case
basis, instead fending off the conflict of interest issues with
broad ideals.  --PJK

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