The ACS Division of Professional Relations posted a new blog on Ethics in Chemistry
Blog post (September 18, 2020) by Kelly Elkins
Ethics education is important and paramount in becoming a professional. Ethics is not the same as moral reasoning. Good people can do bad things. Newspaper articles report on cases in which scientists “mess up” or make the wrong choice in regards to ethical research, publishing and lab safety. Ethics is as important as chemical laboratory skills and both must be taught. Basic research improves lives through chemistry; the quality of the science and published results is directly dependent upon the adherence to best practices in scientific ethics.
The Chemist's Code of Conduct
The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct was approved by the ACS Council on March 16, 1994, and replaces The Chemist’s Creed, which was first published in 1965. The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct was most recently updated on August 28, 2019.
The American Chemical Society expects its members to adhere to the highest ethical and safety standards, as detailed in the link above.
Professional Ethics and Chemical Safety
It may seem at first glance that there is no connection between ethics and safety. After all, “safety” implies a list of rules and regulations that we are required to follow to protect ourselves and everyone around us. These rules and regulations often have legal standing and are more than just a collection of best practices that have been compiled over the years by competent and concerned chemical professional for the betterment of their profession. Ethics, in contrast, seems sort of “fuzzy”; some people think one answer is right, some people disagree. In fact, we often observe that good people can have fundamental disagreements on individual issues of professional ethics.
Introduction to the Ethics of Scientific Conflict of Interest (COI)
Committee monograph (2020) by Patrick Knerr and Ronald P. D’Amelia
Ethics consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision making, such as the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong and how to prioritize competing values. Scientific progress necessitates the ethical conduct of research. A basic working definition of COI is a situation in which a secondary interest, such as financial or other personal considerations, has the potential to unduly influence the primary interest of objectivity in research conduct.
The Importance of Ethical Conduct in Scientific Research
Ethics in Science: Ethical Misconduct in Scientific Research
Book (2018, 2nd edition) by John G. D’Angelo
Providing the tools necessary for a robust debate, this updated edition explains various forms of scientific misconduct. The first part describes a variety of ethical violations, why they occur, how they are handled, and what can be done to prevent them along with a discussion of the peer-review process. The second part presents real-life case studies that review the known facts, allowing readers to decide for themselves whether an ethical violation has occurred and if so, what should be done.
Scientific Misconduct Training Workbook
Book (2019) by John G. D’Angelo
This unique workbook discusses the areas of ethics and scientific misconduct. It provides assessments and exercises for learners to work through in groups or alone. Completion of the workbook but especially the assessment and tests will earn the learner a certificate for scientific misconduct training compiled by the author, and the certificate is available from the author’s own website. This volume is a companion to the author’s published volume, Ethics in Science: Ethical Misconduct in Scientific Research, 2nd edition, and will appeal to undergraduates, graduates and even high school students.
Case Studies for Chemistry Ethics Education
Case Studies and Methods for Teaching Professional Ethics for Forensic Science Students
Article (2020, vol 2, no 1) by Kelly Elkins and Ibiwunmi Fambegbe in Journal of Forensic Science Education
Ethics is often confused with morals and values. This paper compares and contrasts ethics and morals and discusses approaches to teaching ethics with an emphasis on the case study method. A review of ethics resources for instructors and classroom teaching methods are discussed. Several case studies covering a wide range of ethical issues encountered in forensic science are included.
Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research
A set of ethical guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of chemical research, specifically, for editors, authors, and manuscript reviewers. These guidelines were developed by the editors of the ACS journals and are reviewed regularly to ensure their clarity.
Credit Where Credit is Due: Respecting Authorship and Intellectual Property
ACS Symposium Series book (2018) edited by Patricia Ann Mabrouk and Judith N. Currano
This volume is based on the symposium “The Write Thing to Do: Ethical Considerations in Authorship & the Assignment of Credit” held at the 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Responsible Conduct in Chemistry Research and Practice: Global Perspectives
ACS symposium book (2018) by Ellen Tratras Contis, Dorothy J. Phillips, Allison A. Campbell, Bradley D. Miller, and Lori Brown
This book was both inspired and informed by a symposium The Interface of Chemical and Biological Sciences International Disarmament Efforts held in 2015 at the ACS national meeting in Denver, CO. The intended readership is all chemists, chemistry educators and chemical engineers, particularly those with an interest in the responsible global practice of chemistry, science and human rights, scientific mobility, and international relations.