Colleagues of University of Michigan neurologist Sidney Gilman were shocked when the U.S. government revealed a massive insider trading scheme that was based on his conversations with a hedge fund analyst. The two men were brought together by a so-called expert network firm, and the case, announced in November, is the latest reminder of the potential perils of having academic researchers interact with industry. The different types of relationships, across many fields, have grown ever more complex over the years and pose tricky questions. When is it OK to accept money, and what type of information can be shared? Does industry sponsorship of a clinical trial or an academic study, for example, necessarily bias the results? And how can scientists best avoid these pitfalls?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, 10 January, on this page, and read our feature on the topic in this week’s issue of Science. Our guests will be two experts on conflict-of-interest issues. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts. The full text of the chat will be archived on this page.
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Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis is University Distinguished Service Professor Emerita, Professor Emerita at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine (Pediatrics) and School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (2000-2011). Her major efforts have centered on human rights especially as they relate to patients, health professionals and the poor.
George Loewenstein is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Loewenstein's research focuses on applications of psychology to economics, and his specific interests include decision making over time, bargaining and negotiations, psychology and health, law and economics, the psychology of adaptation, the role of emotion in decision making, the psychology of curiosity, conflict of interest, and "out of control" behaviors such as impulsive violent crime and drug addiction.
Jennifer has been a staff writer for Science since 2002, covering an eclectic mix of stories in biomedical and clinical research, scientific misconduct, and ethics.