Patent-holders on expert committees. Can there be a conflict of interest?
Keywords:Expert committees, patents, conflict of interest, IPCC
The presence of experts holding patents and simultaneously providing policy advice on areas where they hold patents pose several normative questions. Through a comparative study of several IPCC reports, this article documents the scope of this phenomenon and discusses it with respect to a theory of conflict of interest. Seemingly, it is more likely to be patent-holders on issues of infrastructures, industry and transport rather than for single technologies as such. According to insights from studies on conflict of interest, there is an increased risk for bias. The article investigates the possible relations between patenting and conflicts of interest according to theoretical and empirical insights from the relation between science and society.