Corporate Transparency & Year 5 Maths

I was giving my 10 year old son, yet another lecture this morning on the importance of SHOWING YOUR WORKINGS in Maths. He insists on writing the answer only, because it’s too boring to write it all out. To press home the point I found myself saying, ‘even companies, now have to show their workings or no-one believes that they have made their products properly and safely. It’s going to be important for lots of aspects of your life.’

Though I think I might have overcooked it a bit, I have warmed to this analogy. It seemed to go down well with a 10 year old, not sure it will fly with companies!

Workings-Out-table

Hey, GSK are showing their workings!

I got back from the school run to hear Andrew Witty the CEO of GSK giving an interesting interview on the Today programme at the 8.30am slot in which he explained they now publish all their Clinical Trials, whether the findings are positive, negative or inconclusive. Check out their Clinical Study Register on their website. (Check out the Patent Pool also for tropical diseases, interesting).

He also made the important point that they have difficulty getting publications to publish the negative or inconclusive results. The impact of this bias of only publishing more ‘interesting’ studies in skewing the body of evidence on a material or product came up a few times in the recent Responsible Innovation workshops I’ve attended. There is huge value to society in the ‘full workings’, including the scribblings out, to be made available, but it is a tricky one, and food for another blog or three I think.

So, companies, and Joe, please SHOW YOUR WORKINGS, you will be richer, better looking and make more money!

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