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Canadian research compromised?

Clinical researcher independence at risk, says a report from a university teachers' group

Doug Payne(dougpayne@islandtelecom.com)

A panel of medical experts commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has warned that the integrity and independence of the work done by up to 20,000 clinical faculty and researchers in Canada is at risk, because of outside pressures against which they have few protections. The report, Defending Medicine: Clinical Faculty and Academic Freedom, was released last week and makes a number of key recommendations to better protect the researchers, many of whom are also physicians.

The authors—a medical geneticist from Dalhousie University; the chair of oncology at the University of Alberta; a professor of medicine at McMaster University; another at Queen's University; and the head of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of British Columbia—said that the work arrangements of clinical faculty differ from those of non-clinical academic staff in a number of important ways and that the differences "can compromise their academic freedom."...

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