The impact of conflict of interest on trust in science

Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (3):413-420 (2002)
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Abstract

Conflicts of interest have an erosive effect on trust in science, damaging first the attitude of the public toward scientists and their research, but also weakening the trusting interdependence of scientists. Disclosure is recognized as the key tool for management of conflicts, but rules with sanctions must be improved, new techniques for avoidance of financial conflicts by alternative funding of evaluative research must be sought, and there must be new thinking about institutional conflicts of interest. Our profession is education, and both the public and research professionals of all ages would benefit from greater understanding of how science should and does work.

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