exhibit a certain type of character. Hence, such standards reflect an ethics of character or virtue as well as an ethics of action. Recognizing such virtue in particular scientists and engineers offers the societies an opportunity to reward virtue, to call attention to the importance that the profession attaches to such character, and to publicly identify role models. The societies should seriously consider doing much more than is now done to confer recognition on scientists and engineers who exemplify the ideals of their discipline.

Finally, in considering how the scientific and engineering societies can more effectively promote responsible research conduct, one must keep in mind that such efforts incur costs in the form of time, energy, and resources committed to developing ethical standards, disseminating information, educating, registering disapproval, and conferring recognition. Consequently, the societies must be sensitive to what they can reasonably undertake at any particular point in time. This caution should not be interpreted as a prescription for inaction. Rather, it reflects a belief that costs, as well as more intellectual and professional factors, must be factored into the evaluation of alternative courses of action under consideration by the societies.



Twenty societies representing diverse areas of research were contacted by the author for information on their policies/standards and activities related to research ethics. This draft includes information from the 13 societies that have responded. (See Appendix A for a complete listing of the societies contacted.) In addition, the sections reviewing professional societies' standards draw from materials describing standards adopted or drafted by several other societies. (See Appendix B for a list of all standards and guidelines referred to in the paper.)


Jennings, B., D. Callahan, and S. M. Wolf, 1987, "The professions: public interest and common good," Hastings Center Report 17(special supplement), p. 5.


Camenisch, P. F., 1983, Grounding Professional Ethics in a Pluralistic Society, Haven, New York, p. 48.


Pavalko, R. M., 1971, Sociology of Occupations and Professions, F. E. Peacock, Itasca, Ill., p. 25.


Tuohy, C. J., and A. D. Wolfson, 1977, "The political economy of professionalism: a perspective," in Four Aspects of Professionalism, Consumer Research Council, Ottawa, p. 67.


Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 1982, The Maintenance of High Ethical Standards in the Conduct of Research, AAMC Ad Hoc Committee on the Maintenance of High Ethical Standards in the Conduct of Research, AAMC, Washington, D.C.


Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 1989, Framework for Institutional Policies and Procedures to Deal with Misconduct in Research, AAMC, Washington, D.C.

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