15 May 2006

Insider dealing as a science writer

There is an interesting "disclaimer" within the latest ACS weekly press package. There is also a reference to a useful tool for science writers. The slot billed as Journalists' Helper of the Week mentions something called Patent Watch. This points to a useful RSS feed.

The intriguing bit is the observation at the end of the whole package, although it isn't clear if it is about Patent Watch or everything in the mailing.

The health warning reads: "This information in this press package is intended for your personal use in news gathering and reporting and should not be distributed to others. Anyone using advance ACS News Service Weekly Press Package information for stocks or securities dealing may be guilty of insider trading under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934."

Whether this applies outside the USA is one question. The point is that this is the first sighting that I can remember of advice to science writers suggesting that they too could get done for insider dealing.

I've warned about this for years. After all, medical journals carry details of clinical trials that can move the price of drugs companies in a big way. That is why there has been some talk of theindustryy manipulating the journals in devious ways.

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