NIH scientists to quit rather than follow ethics rules

Today's Washington Post reports a survey of medical researchers at the National Institutes of Health showing that two in five are looking for other jobs as a direct result of the Administration tightening-up conflict-of-interest regulations to prevent them from outside consulting.

Of the NIH personnel who supervise outside contract research, many fewer are exploring an exit. The Post notes they have fewer outside consulting opportunities.

We'd observe that the conflict-of-interest regulations don't go far enough in preventing in-house scientists from commisioning studies to deliver "evidence" for agency policy choices. Now that we've destroyed the myth that government-paid scientists are without blemish or bias, let's take the next step and get some independent review of the contract science by such means as reinvigorating the Data Quality Act.

Posted by Dick Hanneman on October 31, 2006 02:50 PM