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Conflict of interest disclosure and the polarisation of scientific communities
  1. Thomas Ploug1,
  2. Søren Holm2,3,4
  1. 1Centre for Applied Ethics and Philosophy of Science, Aalborg University Copenhagen, København S, Denmark
  2. 2University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3Center for Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thomas Ploug, Centre for Applied Ethics and Philosophy of Science, Aalborg University Copenhagen, AC Meyers Vænge 15, København S 2450, Denmark; ploug{at}hum.aau.dk

Abstract

In this article, we introduce and define the notion of polarised scientific communities. We show how polarisation may generate genuine conflicts of interest that require specific efforts to be identified and reported, and suggest a simple heuristic for the identification and reporting of the polarisation of research. We use examples from the debates about breast cancer screening and the prescription of statins to people at low risk of heart disease.

  • Ethics
  • Publication Ethics

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