Study mulls science conflict of interest

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Related tags: Science

The controversy surrounding new conflict-of-interest regulations at
the US National Institutes of Health has prompted the Science
Advisory Board to look closely at what constitutes acceptable
industrial pursuits for government scientists to engage in.

Only 15 per cent of respondents to a recent instant poll conducted by the SAB believe that US government scientists should not receive compensation for engaging in any activities sponsored by the pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology industry.

Of the remaining 85 per cent of those polled, who believe it is acceptable for government scientists to receive some type of payment for their services to industry, 25 per cent think that training scientists is the most worthy commission.

Conducting research and reviewing scientific materials were in joint second place with 19 per cent each. Meanwhile, recruiting scientists, designing experiments, and authoring scientific materials for industry were deemed the most unacceptable activities for government scientists.

"The majority opinion is that government scientists can have outside consulting arrangements with industry within carefully constructed limits,"​ observes Tamara Zemlo, executive director of the Science Advisory Board.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations

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