In any endeaver, whether it is scientific research or financial dealings or judicial decisions, conflicts of interest should be avoided at all costs. Even if no malicious activity actually happens, the appearance of potential biased activity should be avoided. If a judge is related to a defendent, the judge should recuse himself from the case. If the president of company WILE is a board member of contracting company ACME, then ACME should not be allowed to make a contract bid.
When an investigator’s relationship to an organization affects, or gives the appearance of affecting, his/her objectivity in the conduct of scholarly or scientific research, a conflict of interest is said to occur. The relationship does not have to be a personal nor a financial one.
In the case of the C-14 testing, there was a conflict of interest. Edward Hall, head of the Oxford lab, was a trustee of the British Museum.
For many years, he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Gallery and a Trustee of the British Museum
An argument ensued about a conflict of interest for the British Museum, since
Edward Hall of the Oxford lab was a trustee. The Zurich lab expressed significant concern about this.
I had mentioned earlier:
otseng wrote: ↑Mon Feb 20, 2023 9:34 am Arizona began their testing on April 25 and completed testing on June 8.
Oxford began their pretreatment on July 4 and completed testing on Aug 8.
Zurich began their test in the same month Arizona ended theirs.
Oxford didn’t even begin their testing until a month after Arizona had completed theirs.
If Hall had inside access at the British Museum, then the Oxford lab would’ve been able to get to the Arizona data. And why would the Oxford lab start their test one month after the Arizona lab ended theirs?
Later Edward Hall admitted, “Frankly, I think it was a hopeless prospect to keep the result secret. You couldn’t with the best will in the world.”
Of course it would be a hopeless prospect, since Hall was a trustee member of the British Museum and he would’ve had access to the Arizona data.
And then afterwards, who would take over Hall’s position as head of the Oxford lab? It would be Michael Tite, overseer of the C-14 dating process from the British Museum.
The British Museum had chosen their Head of Research, Dr. Michael
Tite, to preside over the process. While the choice of labs was still up in
the air, Hall suggested to Tite that he might like to succeed him as Head
of the Oxford Unit on his impending retirement. This would, of course,
have to be kept quiet and an “informal” arrangement so as not to
compromise the selection of the Labs. Oxford was duly selected and Tite
did duly succeed Hall. This might sound potentially libellous and indeed
would be if it was not true.
Nor did he shy from exploiting his laboratory’s
‘success’ in its work on the Shroud in order to raise £1 million pounds to found the Edward Hall
Chair in Archaeological Science, a post shortly after taken up by the British Museum’s Dr.
Michael Tite. This directly secured the laboratory’s future.
It is obvious a conflict of interest was involved with both Edward Hall and Michael Tite.