A recent paper in the journal, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, examines censorship in medical research. Giovanni A. Fava describes the damages to intellectual freedom that result when academic medical researchers are influenced by corporate and special interests. He notes that censorship can take several forms in this arena, from suppression of accurate data that conflicts with industry interests, to retaliation against those who reveal such data, to self-censorship among researchers.
Fava concludes that supporting researchers who don’t have conflicts of interests may be a positive way to protect intellectual freedom. This response gives the public greater access to accurate information that affects their health and well-being: “Taxpayers and members of professional societies deserve scientific leadership by those researchers who opt to be devoid of substantial conflicts of interest.” (p. 3)