LONDON — A report launched at the House of Commons today seeks to help UK universities avoid ethical blunders when they accept commercial cash.

Governments are putting ever more pressure on universities to seek commercial funding for research. But if the funds come in reasonably sized lumps, they seldom arrive in the form of a blank check. The donor normally wants something in return, either in terms of good publicity, or privileged access to any results. There is the clear potential for conflicts of interest, and for universities losing their intellectual independence.

Launching his report today, Rory Daly stepped into the debate. He compiled "The Missenden Code of Practice for Ethics and Accountability," while working on a Masters degree in the School of Independent Studies at Lancaster University. Daly recommends that universities establish ethics committees charged with ensuring that all cash is clean, and that any conditions made by...

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