Non-ACS Resources

Good Chemistry: Methodological, Ethical, and Social Dimensions

Book (2021) by Jan Mehlich

Practicing chemists face a number of ethical considerations, from issues of attribution of authorship through the potential environmental impact of a new process to the decision to work on chemicals that could be weaponized. This textbook provides an accessible resource to help chemists recognize the ethical and social dimensions of their own work and act appropriately.

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Ethics of Chemistry: From Poison Gas to Climate Engineering

Book (2021) edited by Joachim Schummer and Tom Børsen

This textbook establishes the scope of ethics of chemistry and provides a cased-based approach to teaching, thereby also narrating a cultural history of chemistry. An international team of experts narrate the historical cases and analyze their ethical dimensions. All cases are suitable for undergraduate teaching, either in classes of ethics, history of chemistry, or in chemistry classes proper.

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Ethics in Chemistry

Magazine article (2018) by Nina Notman

Should chemists be giving more consideration to the ethics of their research?  A discussion of some of the many ethical considerations a chemist might encounter during his/her professional career.

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The Ethical Chemist: Professionalism and Ethics in Science

Book (2018, 2nd edition) by Jeffrey Kovac

This book is an introduction to professional ethics in chemistry. After a brief overview of ethical theory, it provides a detailed discussion of professional ethic for chemists based on the view that the specific codes of conduct derive from a moral ideal. The moral ideal presented here has three parts. The first refers to the practice of science, the second to relationships within the scientific community and the third to the relationship between science and society, particularly the uses of science. There is a large collection of specific ethical problems, or cases, each followed by a commentary where the issues raised by that case are discussed.

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Elements of Ethics for Physical Scientists

Book (2017) by Sandra C. Greer

A guide to the everyday decisions about right and wrong faced by physical scientists and research engineers.

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Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research within the Chemical Community

Special open access journal issue (2015, vol 22, iss 6) of Accountability in Research

This special issue contains articles devoted to ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in chemistry. It was designed to serve as a resource in chemistry departments to meet the federally-mandated education in RCR.

The five articles in this issue are:

  • “Ethics in Science: The Unique Consequences of Chemistry” by Jeffrey D. Kovac (Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee)
  • “Tension in Chemistry and Its Contents” by Roald Hoffmann (Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University)
  • “Authorship Issues and Conflict in the U.S. Academic Chemical Community,” by Jeffrey I. Seeman (Department of Chemistry, University of Richmond) and Mark C. House (Giant Steps Research, Gainesville, FL)
  • “Social Media, Peer Review, and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Chemistry: Trends, Pitfalls, and Promises,” by Ashutosh S. Jogalekar (Cambridge, MA)
  • “Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research in the Chemical Community: The Unique Role and Challenges of the News Media” by William G. Schulz (Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society).

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Voicing our Values

Lockheed Martin is a leading global security and aerospace company.  They have a focus on ethics in their company that is reflected in their website:

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PBS Series-- Playing by the Rules: Ethics at Work

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has a series of programs on ethics in the workplace.  Here is a link to their first episode.

Websites:

NSF Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research

https://www.nsf.gov/od/recr.jsphttps://www.nsf.gov/od/recr.jsp

The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. The responsible and ethical conduct of research involves a responsibility to:

  1. to generate and disseminate knowledge with rigor and integrity;
  2. conduct peer review with the highest ethical standards;
  3. diligently protect proprietary information and intellectual property from inappropriate disclosure; and
  4. treat students and colleagues fairly and with respect.

The Office of Research Integrity

https://ori.hhs.gov/

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) oversees and directs U.S. Public Health Service research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This includes oversight of research misconduct inquiries and investigations, as well as of institutional compliance. 

The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct

https://ori.hhs.gov/TheLab/

The fictional media tutorials developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Research Integrity to promote awareness of the responsible conduct of research.

NIGMS Guidance on Best Practices for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

https://www.nigms.nih.gov/training/pages/responsibleconduct.aspx

This guidance reflects a community consensus about what constitutes adequate training in the responsible conduct of research. There is no single set of standards that all programs must adopt. Rather, this guidance describes what many institutions are doing and may be viewed as a collection of best practices.

The Online Ethics Center

https://www.onlineethics.org/

The Online Ethics Center provides resources for understanding ethically significant issues that arise in scientific and engineering practice and serves those who promote learning of responsible research. It is maintained by the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).