Monday, November 23, 2015

Four Brief Thoughts on Conflicts of Interest

  • Just because a study is funded by industry that doesn't mean its findings aren't valid.
  • Literature on conflicts of interest clearly states that while perhaps no one believes they can be influenced, being influenced by your conflict, consciously or unconsciously, is a great evidenced based bet.
  • Dollars aren't just used to fund studies that industry believes will be beneficial, they're also used to provide megaphones to researchers whose messages and research are industry friendly (no better example of this than the Global Energy Balance Network).
  • Dollars aside, relationships matter to industry. I'd wager friendships are far more influential in motivating conscious and unconscious biases than dollars, and are relevant even when actual dollars are small.

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