A little integrity is better than any career. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It makes all the difference in the world whether we put truth in the first place,
or in the second place. John Morley
 
     
 
Chapter 3: Anything for a Buck
 
     
 

     Peter's work over his career had always been among the best in several emerging areas in physics. At Manning, his grants and contracts from both government and industry had been lauded by the university. Peter had ample resources and hired a large research team. The university had been giddy at the prospects of what Peter's newest research could bring. The University's Budget Office had calculated the profits from the research's resulting patents: eight percent to the university and two percent of that to Peter and his collaborators. In fact, the university president had begun to promise generous shares of the university's six percent across campus. A third would go to support faculty salaries. A third was designated for graduate fellowships. A third would go to the undergraduate honors program. A third would support improvements to the athletic program and sports complex. A third would go to a new interdisciplinary research center for rural poverty, family health, and child development. The president was a mathematician; he would figure it out.

     What was not so well planned, however, was the oversight of Peter's work. Even less attention had been given to his financial ties to a suddenly booming new local business, American Medical. Peter owned substantial equity in American Medical, which designed and produced equipment for medical imaging, diagnostics, and treatment. Citing the value to students of learning about the university's technology transfer, Peter placed several master's and doctoral students from his lab as unpaid interns at the company. Peter's grants had purchased millions of dollars of valuable equipment, much of which was transferred to American Medical to be used by students after completion of the grant funding period.

 
 
 
Research Ethics
 
 
Chapter 3: Anything for a Buck
Discussion and Reflection Questions
Integration Questions
References and Resources
 


This chapter addresses conflicts of interest in research. Upon your completion of this chapter, we hope that you can identify what constitutes conflicts of interest, including financial, intellectual, personal, and time/work commitment conflicts, that impact responsible conduct of research. We also want you to learn about institutional and federal policies that serve to help researchers reduce, manage, and address conflicts of interest.

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