This last week podcast host Kevin Folta found himself in a difficult predicament. There was palpable outrage by those affiliated with a science website where he participated in some of their activities. Turns out that Folta also did paid work outside of his university job, which is normal. He was retained by a law firm as a special matters expert, someone to analyze some data in a private mediation. He was bound my confidentiality to not discuss the details of the case. The folks from the science website used public records requests to obtain Folta’s confidential internal university documents requesting permission to perform outside work. These are forms where universities approve participation in paid activities beyond the normal job description. Those requesting the documents read details about the confidential work, and then posted a damaging website where confidentiality was broken, and Folta was accused of being non-transparent. The instance triggered the need for an important discussion. Scientists typically have non-disclosure agreements. Such agreements demand confidentiality. At the same time, we expect them to be completely transparent. Can we simultaneously honor confidentiality and transparency? Probably not. So how can we be trusted communicators in a space where collaborators don’t want their information shared? This discussion between Drs. Paul Vincelli and Kevin Folta hopefully will seed a much needed conversation. # COLABRA Talking Biotech is brought to you by Colabra – an R&D platform that brings your lab’s world-changing research together in one shared space. Learn more at https://www.colabra.app/ # TALKING BIOTECH Twitter: https://twitter.com/talkingbiotech Website: https://www.colabra.app/podcasts/talking-biotech/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colabrahq The Talking Biotech podcast is distinct from Dr. Kevin Folta's teaching and research roles at the University of Florida. The views expressed on the show are those of Dr. Folta and his guests, and do not reflect the opinions of the university or Colabra.
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