Charles Ferguson: Are Academic Economists Being Corrupted?
"I think the very obvious first step [to amending this problem] is full disclosure," he suggests in the interview. If there is any indication that a financial conflict of interest may be present, all of the activity surrounding this conflict must be open to review. He also suggests taking similar steps that some medical institutions have taken whereby the professor in question has a limit to how much income they may earn from a source that is related in some way to the subject of their work. By strengthening the disclosure requirements, decreasing the amount of outside funding professors are allowed to receive and making better use of the disciplinary measures put in place by an institution, Ferguson believes that conflicts of interest in academia can be reduced—or, at very least, can be exposed.
Ferguson is the founder of Representational Pictures, which he founded when he produced his film No End In Sight. He is also the author of Predator Nation. He has consulted for the White House and the Department of Defense and for high tech firms like Xerox and Apple. He holds nothing back in his analysis of the institutions that run the nation, and creates eye-opening documentaries that deal with some of the most contentious subjects of our time. His ability to tell an intriguing story extends beyond film to the stage, where he speaks about pressing national issues and the impact that technology and new media has on exposing them.