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The Chemist's Code of Conduct (1994)
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The Chemist's Code of Conduct
The American Chemical Society expects its members to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Indeed, the federal Charter of the Society (1937) explicitly lists among its objectives "the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemists through high standards of professional ethics, education and attainments..".
Chemists have professional obligations to the public, to colleagues, and to science. One expression of these obligations is embodied in "The Chemist's Creed," approved by the ACS Council in 1965. the principles of conduct enumerated below are intended to replace "The Chemist's Creed". They were prepared by the Council Committee on Professional Relations, approved by the Council (March 16, 1994), and adopted by the Board of Directors (June 3, 1994) for the guidance of society members in various professional dealings, especially those involving conflicts of interest.
Chemists Acknowledge Responsibilities To:
- The Public
- Chemists have a professional responsibly to serve the public interest and welfare and to further knowledge of science. Chemists should actively be concerned with the health and welfare of co-workers, consumer and the community. Public comments on scientific matters should be made with care and precision, without unsubstantiated, exaggerated, or premature statements.
- The Science of Chemistry
- Chemists should seek to advance chemical science, understand the limitations of their knowledge, and respect the truth. Chemists should ensure that their scientific contributions, and those of the collaborators, are thorough, accurate, and a unbiased in design, implementation, and presentation.
- The Profession
- Chemists should remain current with developments in their field, share ideas and information, keep accurate and complete laboratory records, maintain integrity in all conduct and publications, and give due credit to the contributions of others. Conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, and incompatible with this Code.
- The Employer
- Chemists should promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers, perform work honestly and competently, fulfill obligations, and safeguard proprietary information.
- Chemists, as employers, should treat subordinates with respect for their professionalism and concern for their well-being, and provide them with a safe, congenial working environment, fair compensation, and proper acknowledgment of their scientific contributions.
- Chemists should regard the tutelage of students as a trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student's learning and professional development. Each student should be treated respectfully and without exploitation.
- Chemists should treat associates with respect, regardless of the level of their formal education, encourage them, learn with them, share ideas honestly, and give credit for their contributions.
- Chemists should serve clients faithfully and incorruptibly, respect confidentiality, advise honestly, and charge fairly.
- The Environment
- Chemists should understand and anticipate the environmental consequences of their work. Chemists have responsibility to avoid pollution and to protect the environment.