served by exceptional restrictions on the production or dissemination of such results than by the general standard of openness. There is a need to achieve international understanding of what should be the boundaries and norms for these exceptional cases. Such understanding will require open discussions not only among natural scientists, but also with social scientists, policy makers, philosophers, humanists, ethicists, and religious thinkers.

There is a useful place for codes of conduct or ethics, developed by scientists, engineers, and physicians for their disciplines, on both national and international levels. Academic organizations, professional societies, academies, and international organizations should take active roles in the development and implementation of such codes. International codes may allow culturally appropriate differences in practices in different countries. Such differences, however, should be matters of public international discussion, in order to further mutual understanding across cultures and the convergence of international norms.

Standards of ethical behavior should be a part of science, engineering, and medical education. Many values such as objectivity, honesty, fairness, transparency of process, openness of results, and conscience are universal in science. These must be propagated as intrinsic to science at all educational levels. Countries, institutions, and individuals should be encouraged to exchange best practices in this area. International standards for curricula in science ethics should be encouraged.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement