Conflicts of Interest

E-mail from Dennis

For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom. Matthew W. Finkin and Robert C. Post. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008.

Big Food, Big Agra, and the Research University

Food scientist Marion Nestle talks with Academe about conflicts of interest between food companies and academics, the difference between food products and food, and the problem with pomegranates.

Diagnosing Conflict-of-Interest Disorder

Big Pharma works in subtle but powerful ways inside the pages of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The Moral Education of Journal Editors

Most scientific and medical journals now have conflict-of-interest policies in place, but disclosure alone does not ensure scientific integrity.

Hubris in Grantland

Languor and laissez-faire greet conflict of interest at the NIH.

Big Oil Bankrolls Research at U.S. Universities

Last month, the Center for American Progress released a new report, Big Oil Goes to College, documenting how, over the past decade, oil companies and other energy firms have underwritten more than $800 million in energy research at prominent U.S. universities, with few safeguards in place to protect academic autonomy, scientific objectivity, or scholarly independence.

From the Guest Editor: The Entrepreneurial University

Universities are inescapably embedded in overlapping social and political contexts that at times work to their advantage and at other times to their disadvantage. Notwithstanding the “ivory-tower” image, many of these venerable institutions have had to struggle to balance their independence and the autonomy of their faculty to teach and engage in research with the requirements and restrictions that corporate sponsors and the federal government place on their funding.

Academic Freedom and the Corporate University

Commercial threats on campus have mounted—from industry control of research and corporate ghostwriting to restrictive sponsored-research agreements and intellectual property deals that place profits ahead of public health.

Troubled Waters for the University of Minnesota

Efforts to dam the free flow of information about Mississippi River pollution.

From the President: Universities for Sale

One of the latest trends in higher education is for rightwing foundations and wealthy individuals to “donate” funds to colleges and universities for hiring conservative faculty members. For example, the Koch Brothers Charitable Foundation has given a total of $14.39 million to Florida State, Auburn, Clemson, West Virginia, Utah State, and other universities to fund faculty positions for right-wing scholars. At almost all of these institutions, the foundation has played a direct role either in making the appointments or in screening the faculty members who are ultimately appointed.


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