Universities Should Implement AAU Recommendations on Conflicts of Interest
Statement of Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Science In the Public Interest
“The report by the American Association of Universities (AAU) is an important contribution to the growing movement to reduce or disclose conflicts of interest in the scientific and medical community. Importantly, the AAU calls on researchers to disclose to the public all possible conflicts of interest and to eliminate conflicts in studies involving human subjects.
“The more that universities receive funding from industry to advance or apply research the more important it is to the public interest that ties between academia and industry be disclosed. Those arrangements — grants, stock ownership and other financial ties — could undermine the integrity of scientific research and public trust in research and educational institutions.
“Universities and individual researchers should quickly implement the AAU’s recommendations. They should identify conflicts of interest, disclose them to the public, and ban the most egregious relationships. Time will tell whether the AAU’s sensible report triggers improvements or simply gathers dust on deans’ bookshelves.”
Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).