In 2007, at the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the outgoing chief scientist Sir David King proposed that scientists should adopt a simple universal code of ethics - just as the medical profession has a Hippocratic Oath. He believes it would instil a better trust in science by the public.
We endorse this idea and will aim to abide by Sir David's code in all our work.
Sir David King’s Code of Ethics for Scientists
Rigour, honesty and integrity
- Act with skill and care in all scientific work. Maintain up to date skills and assist their development in others
- Take steps to prevent corrupt practices and professional misconduct. Declare conflicts of interest.
- Be alert to the ways in which research derives from and affects the work of other people, and respect the rights and reputations of others.
Respect for life, the law and the public good
- Ensure that your work is lawful and justified.
- Minimise and justify any adverse effect your work may have on people, animals and the natural environment.
Responsible communication: listening and informing
- Seek to discuss the issues that science raises for society. Listen to the aspirations and concerns of others.
- Do not knowingly mislead, or allow others to be misled, about scientific matters. Present and review scientific evidence, theory or interpretation honestly and accurately.