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Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options (2018)

Chapter: Appendix D: Data Science Oath

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
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D

Data Science Oath

The committee proposed a Data Science Oath in its interim report and offers a revised version in this final report in Box D.2 (in parallel with a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath for physicians in Box D.1). Given the sensitive nature of certain types of data and the significant ethical implications of working with such data, similar efforts to establish a code of ethics for data scientists are under way throughout the field.1 While these various codes at times intersect in their expressions of the ethical principles for data science, the committee hopes that its oath captures the gravity of data-driven decision making and provokes discussions on the future normative structure of data science.

While there are many common aspects to the Hippocratic Oath and the proposed Data Science Oath, there are also some key differences. Both oaths, however, share aspects of being necessary but not sufficient to address current and future ethical considerations.

The potential consequences of the ethical implications of data science cannot be overstated. Previously, data were small and specialized,

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1 To read about other work in the development of data science codes of ethics, see, for example, https://datapractices.org/community-principles-on-ethical-data-sharing/, http://datafordemocracy.org/projects/ethics.html, http://www.datascienceassn.org/code-of-conduct.html, http://www.rosebt.com/blog/open-for-comment-proposed-data-science-code-of-professional-conduct, https://dssg.uchicago.edu/2015/09/18/an-ethical-checklist-for-data-science/, http://thedataist.com/a-proposal-for-data-science-ethics/, https://www.accenture.com/t20160629T012639Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-24/Accenture-Universal-PrinciplesData-Ethics.pdf, accessed January 31, 2018.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
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but now data are pervasive. The fact that all humans are in this together (e.g., generating data and economic activity) means that they all have a responsibility to each other.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
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Page 117
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
×
Page 118
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
×
Page 119
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Data Science Oath." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25104.
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Page 120
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Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. As more data and ways of analyzing them become available, more aspects of the economy, society, and daily life will become dependent on data. It is imperative that educators, administrators, and students begin today to consider how to best prepare for and keep pace with this data-driven era of tomorrow. Undergraduate teaching, in particular, offers a critical link in offering more data science exposure to students and expanding the supply of data science talent.

Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options offers a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This report outlines some considerations and approaches for academic institutions and others in the broader data science communities to help guide the ongoing transformation of this field.

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