Skip to content
 

The consulting biz

I received the following (unsolicited) email:

Hello,

*** LLC, a ***-based market research company, has a financial client who is interested in speaking with a statistician who has done research in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease and preferably familiar with the SOLA and BAPI trials. We offer an honorarium of $200 for a 30 minute telephone interview.

Please advise us if you have an employment or consulting agreement with any organization or operate professionally pursuant to an organization’s code of conduct or employee manual that may control activities by you outside of your regular present and former employment, such as participating in this consulting project for MedPanel. If there are such contracts or other documents that do apply to you, please forward MedPanel a copy of each such document asap as we are obligated to review such documents to determine if you are permitted to participate as a consultant for MedPanel on a project with this particular client.

If you are not the right person and know someone who is I would appreciate your help. Best,

***

B-b-b-but . . . I’ve never done research in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease, nor am I familiar with the SOLA and BAPI trials! So somebody else will have to claim the $200.

5 Comments

  1. Steve Sailer says:

    Aaron Ross Sorkin had an article recently about a lucrative “expert network” firm that was suspected of facilitating insider trading by putting Steven A. Cohen’s hedge fund in touch with a doctor who had insider information on the progress of a pharmaceutical trial:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-way-of-world.html

    • Steve Sailer says:

      Sorry about replying to my own comment, but I wanted to add that various of my commenters on the post above had differing opinions on “expert network” firms, with several with experience attesting to their legitimacy.

      Nobody is going to give away inside info for $200, so presumably this request is a legitimate request for help in understanding some technical points. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the financial firm also did some fishing to see if the respondent might know anybody with potentially inside info.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well no one is going to intentionally give away insider info but a good talker can extract amazing amounts of information if they know what they are doing. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_%28security%29 for some discusssion.

        If you hit, say, ten informants it is also often possible to piece together a coherent whole from the various bits and pieces each person lets drop.

        I think the ACM’s comp.risk newsgroup features articles on this type of information gathering from time to time.

        As a slightly on-topic example, the recent Royal Baby hospital fiasco may well be anexample of something like this. It may not be that hard to get past security screens especially when one is not expecting them or trained to detect them.

      • jrkrideau says:

        Well no one is going to intentionally give away insider info but a good talker can extract amazing amounts of information if they know what they are doing. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_%28security%29 for some discusssion.

        If you hit, say, ten informants it is also often possible to piece together a coherent whole from the various bits and pieces each person lets drop.

        I think the ACM’s comp.risk newsgroup features articles on this type of information gathering from time to time.

        As a slightly on-topic example, the recent Royal Baby hospital fiasco may well be anexample of something like this. It may not be that hard to get past security screens especially when one is not expecting them or trained to detect them.

  2. […] moral compasses to make money. Case in point: I got a very confusing email recently, and following the lead of social science blogging super-hero Andrew Gelman, I’m posting a redacted version […]