Jim and Peggy Case Study
Discussion Questions –
1.What do you think of Jim’s decision to offer Peggy the mice without receiving a signed transfer agreement in advance? What motivates his decision?
2.Should Peggy accept the mice from Jim? Is she playing on Jim’s sense of loyalty to her and the other collaborators to gain access to the mice? Is she under any legal or ethical obligation to return a signed transfer agreement? What might be the consequences for her or Jim if she uses the mice in her research but fails to sign a transfer agreement? Could the whole matter be resolved if Peggy spent the coming year at Jim’s lab, using the mice there?
3.What does the conversation between Jim and Harry Carter reveal about the respective missions of industry and universities? What are the appropriate roles of universities and industry in promoting the development of useful products from the research bench to the market place?
4.How would you characterize Jim’s plea for the unrestricted accessibility of data and research resources to all researchers? Idealistic? Naive? Public spirited?
5.Is it reasonable for Mendoza, as the research sponsor, to exercise so much control over the availability of the mice? Should they be less restrictive? What other mechanisms are available to industrial firms for exercising control over their research tools and products?
6. What are Jim’s responsibilities to be familiar with the terms of his contractual agreement with Mendoza Pharmaceuticals? What is the role of his university in such matters? Is renegotiating the contract a viable option?
7.What are some of the advantages and disadvantages for researchers in using industry versus government funding to support their work? Are these considerations the same for trainees or students?
8.Can you think of any restrictions that either industry or government could impose that should prompt scientists to refuse their support?
9.How would the thrust of this case be changed, if at all, if the research in which Jim and Peggy were involved was funded solely by the federal government?
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