Author Affiliation: Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
More than 30 years ago, Bronowski, who spoke so poetically about the
ethos of science, wrote that "the body of scientists is trained to avoid and
organized to resist every form of persuasion but the fact."1
The values of science, he argued, are "inescapable conditions for its practice."1 But the practice of science, especially the biomedical
sciences, has changed significantly since Bronowski made his observations.
Increasingly, academic biomedicine has become commingled with corporate interests.
Spurred by the burgeoning commercial opportunities of new discoveries such
as those in genetics, the growth in academic-industry collaborations has created
uneasiness among some observers who suspect that conditions beyond the pure
facts of science can influence its outcome.
Krimsky S. Conflict of Interest and Cost-effectiveness Analysis. JAMA. 1999;282(15):1474-1475. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1474