Since my last post on the issue of industry affiliation and authorship in the BMJ (read it here), I have been taking a look into the issue of conflicts of interest. And today, I came across this brilliant TED Talk by Dan Ariely:https://ted.com/talks/view/id/1212
The main thing about this talk, and in general about conflict of interest (not in the financial sense, for this post) is that it is very difficult to identify. And like other observer biases, tends to make for an interesting confounder in research.
As Dan puts it in the end, the main thing is to stay aware of such conflicts and identify them as and when they arise instead of turning away from them. In research, as it is in life…