Meaning of “conflict of interest”

Consider a scientist who is hired by a drug company to test a drug that the company recently created. The scientist has conflicting interests: on the one hand, as a scientist he has a responsibility to provide unbiased and trustworthy results; on the other hand, as a human being he would like for the results to be favorable to the drug company so that the company will pay him to conduct future research. We say that the scientist has a conflict of interest.

Conflict between the drug sponsor and the scientific ethos

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