The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Buying science for fun and profit. But mostly profit.

Stories of the ways in which this administration does away with "inconvenient" scientific facts never seem to pick up much steam in the mainstream media. Whether it's tobacco, oil companies, or drug companies, the White House is always on their side. And, alas, here's another one from The Nation:

Ethics and science are two areas Republicans in power display notable contempt toward. The intersection of the two has proved particularly troubling.

Last year the House Committee on Energy and Commerce discovered that 81 scientists at the government's National Institutes of Health (NIH) were secretly on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies as consultants. Between 1999 and 2004, the fees ranged from $5 to $517,000.

The revelations prompted an internal NIH investigation, which the House Committee recently made public. Of the 81 scientists under scrutiny, 44 violated NIH rules by either failing to disclose income from private work, failing to receive NIH permission for private consulting or conducting private research on government time. Nine scientists are being referred to the Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General for possible criminal charges.

Read the full article at the link above. Here's one example of a scientist selling out to the big boys:

Dr. Howard Young--section chief of the National Cancer Institute's experimental laboratory--accepted 500,000 shares in stock options from Advanced Viral Research Corp.

Conflict of interest anyone? Anyone? Please...?