Worked in research at a biotech company. I worked with a team of 20 for about 18 months on a promising novel technique. At that point we concluded that the technique wasn’t going to work. The project wasn’t salvageable. There is a fundamental limitation of the biology which means that we were not going to figure a solution. The team was disbanded. Some people found other jobs at the company. Myself and some others left the company. I left in part because I felt there was a stigma within the company about people who worked on this project.
I’m now at a grant funded, not-for-profit lab. The investigator is very excited about studying a very similar technique to the one we used at my previous company. The failed project is not public knowledge. I worried that many people will spend a lot of time on a project I know will fail. I personally don’t want to work on the project.
I have a non-disclosure agreement with my previous company which prevents me from disclosing methods and results of experiments I worked on. I don’t have a non-compete agreement.
This project would be a good fit for my experience. However, if this project goes ahead I can come up with a good excuse to work on a different project. When the project does end in disaster and I managed to work on something else people may suspect I held back information.
I’m worried this not-for-profit will spent a lot of money and peoples time and reputation on a fool’s errand.
Both organizations are in Massachusetts, USA.
Ethically and legally, can I prevent my new organization from starting a project I know will fail?