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
 
     
 

     Ramona listened as John told the most frightening story she'd ever heard. It was another late night, this time at The Old Collegiate Inn. OCI was a popular dive on the strip, that mile-long stretch of fast-food joints, gas stations, and merchants that appealed to college students. OCI was a great place to eat and talk late into the night. And John spent a lot of time now at OCI. His new status among the unemployed gave him plenty of time for eating and conversation after the lab he worked in was shut down by the university.

     Five years ago John was an up-and-coming star. His post-doc work at Columbia had been with Brian Greene, a physics professor and author of The Elegant Universe. John knew no other scientist who was a New York Times best selling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist. John admired and valued Brian's generous mentoring for his brilliant knowledge but also for his talent in communicating research to a wider public audience. After leaving Columbia, John had encountered Brian's opposite. John was hired to work in the lab of a well-known physicist, Peter, at Manning University. Prior to coming to Manning, Peter had worked as a senior scientist at NIH in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in Bethesda, Maryland. While at NIH he had consulting and speaking contracts that took him around the world. Peter was a senior consultant and lecturer for Pfizer, earning over $500,000 for his consulting work on drugs that halt the degeneration associated with neurological disease. Peter was always careful to place his growing shares in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the name of his wife and son to avoid any conflict of interest. As a result of all this work, Peter maintained collaborations with scientists internationally, and he introduced John to outstanding physicists around the world, including those at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.

 
 
 
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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