Scientists for sale: innovation vs. ethics.
Predictably, the scientists are outraged. "Even my secretary is going to have to sell her stock," said Ezekiel Emanuel, chairman of the agency's department of clinical bioethics, at a February, NIH meeting. "How much sense does that make?" In one case, a scientist was forced to turn down an unpaid adjunct professorship because of the corrupting influence of a free parking spot.
The National Assembly of Scientists, an organization representing senior NIH researchers, has published a statement warning that the rules might produce a brain drain. "It's already happening," says Alan Schechter, chief of the Institutes' molecular medicine branch. "Certain search committees have stopped functioning, and there are a number of people who have left or are leaving."
That's not to say there isn't a real problem. In 1995 recruiting concerns induced the Institutes to allow outside consulting and speaking fees, likely leading to the conflicts of interest and resulting crackdown. Scientists at the NIH have discovered many things over the years, but evidently they haven't yet found a way to balance innovation and objectivity.
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|Title Annotation:||medical ethics rules|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2005|
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