From Science Policy to Responsible Conduct of Research
Chapter 4 analyzes everyday practice of science in the context of surrounding sociocultural, political, and economic factors. Science policy determines what work will be done, who will do it, and how it will be financed. Ambiguity inherent in everyday practice, subjectivity of review panels, and differences of opinion regarding what counts as a desirable outcome all complicate the linkage between research agendas and national goals. Normal functioning of the research environment requires a high degree of trust. Financial conflict of interest can interfere with every aspect of practice, including analysis and publication of research findings, sharing of research knowledge and tools, and decision making by public advisory committees. Disclosure may be unable to deal adequately with conflict of interest; recusal may be necessary. The potential change in the research environment from “publish or perish” to “patent and prosper” threatens the health of biomedical research.
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