In 1942, sociologist Robert Merton included “disinterested” as one of the four behavioral norms of scientists, meaning that scientists were not to have emotional or financial ties to their research. Although critics have called Merton's norms overly idealistic, the last several decades have witnessed growing concerns in the scientific community regarding scientists' objectivity in the face of increased pressures to seek sponsored funding for their research. With some exceptions, the news media offer little coverage of such issues. This entry provides a definition of conflicts of interest and then discusses issues related to the management of conflicts of interest. It then offers examples of conflicts of interest in science and an overview of research examining public views about conflicts of interest in science.

Defining Conflicts of ...

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