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November 2014 Issue 22

November 2014, Issue 22
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President's Column

November 2014

As scientists largely working under the support and sponsorship of public resources, we are entrusted an important responsibility in how we conduct our research, teaching, and outreach activities. Of course, we all have our own moral and ethical guidelines that hopefully influence every aspect of our lives, and not just our professional activities. The AAEA Board and administrative team pay very careful attention to avoid any situations that may be even perceived to present a possible conflict of interest.

Policies for AAEA officers, directors, and committee members are spelled out in very precise terms in the AAEA Operating Policies (see pages 6-7 of the Operating Procedures, which is available online at Conflicts of interest are also of critical importance to the research and outreach output of members of our Association. Disclosure policies have also been established for the Association’s publications (the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives, and Policy, and Choices). These policies are posted online at Most if not all of us have a similar set of policies at our home institutions or organizations.

I have often wondered if we were not perhaps too cautious in the fact that we disqualify Board members from being eligible for awards or from providing statements of support for AAEA Fellow nominations. However, it is essential that any perceived conflict of interest be addressed in our operating policies so as to eliminate any ambiguity. I therefore strongly support the constraints imposed by these policies and encourage everyone to always be thoughtful about any possible circumstances that may be construed to represent a conflict of interest.


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