A scientist has developed a revolutionary new energy efficient method of cleaning water on a large scale. (Through electrolysis, some of you might know where this idea originated.) However when he tries to sell the idea to the city legislature he (she?) gets shot down by nonsensical concerns “You want to electrocute our water?” and general lack of interest. The next day, however, he is contacted by a mafia representative who gives him a recommendation for repackaging his idea as part of a bundle being brought before the legislature by a contractor the very next day. “No strings attached.” Included in the deal is a job offer from the contractor with a fair wage a little below the industry average and a research budget a little above it. The two offers are separate and unconditional.
As the scientist has been working independently with very limited funds for some time, he decides to accept both.
A few interesting questions here. 1. When does he realize that the representative is a mafioso? Does the representative reveal that from the get-go? Does the scientist do a google search after the initial meeting?
The angle here is that the mafia has chosen to do genuine good for the community and the city, albeit through illegal means (the contractor is an obvious front, and bribes/kickbacks would be involved in getting the contractor’s proposal accepted). The scientist will decide that so long as he (she?) doesn’t directly participate in anything illegal, in other words just sticks to the science, there is no ethical dilemma.
But what about when the boss is under investigation and the new job is in peril?