Conflicts of Interest
Description of the Problem
A well-known theoretician at Institution A is called by an experimentalist at Institution B to discuss what appears to be a new discovery, based on a highly original approach to the measurements in question. The discovery supports the theorist’s highly controversial approach to the problem. However, there is a substantial amount of work needed before the results can be submitted for publication.
The theorist has been invited to present a seminar at Institution C, where she is a candidate for a position, and where competitors of the experimentalist at Institution B are found. She was not told explicitly that his conversation with the experimentalist at Institution B was privileged.
- What should she do in preparing for his visit?
- What are the potential conflicts of interest?
- What ethical considerations should the theorist consider in preparing her talk?
- Are there other actions that she could or should take in preparing for the visit?