In an effort to better understand how conflicts of interest may affect health care, the New York Academy of Sciences is hosting a high-profile conference this coming June with panels featuring more than two dozen prominent academics and a smattering of people from industry, government, and the nonprofit world who will be encouraged to think big thoughts and parse nuanced scenarios.

But the event is generating something of a dustup as a handful of prospective panelists have declined to participate. In their view, the conference will be sullied by corporate sponsorship — Johnson & Johnson is underwriting the gathering — and there is concern the health care giant has a vested interest in managing and influencing how conflicts in the world of medicine are perceived and handled.

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