Ethics in Science
As a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion in science, AGU collaborates with other scientific societies and organizations to foster work and research environments that are more representative of communities around the globe. These efforts include establishing partnerships to enact the culture change necessary to create welcoming and safe conditions in which all scientists can thrive.
AGU works in conjunction with the Earth Science Women’s Network and the Association for Women Geoscientists on the project, “From the Classroom to the Field: Improving the Workplace in the Geosciences.” Also known as ADVANCEGeo, this partnership develops bystander intervention workshops for academic department leaders, faculty and graduate students to prevent sexual harassment on campus and in the field.
In addition, AGU served as a co-leader to establish the new SEA Change (STEMM Equity Achievement) Institutional and Departmental Awards, modeled after the United Kingdom’s Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) program. The departmental award pilot program will recognize policies, practices, procedures, as well as the work and study environment within individual departments across multiple disciplines.
Policies & Reports
This collection of policies from organizations and scientific departments reflects many promising practices for addressing ethical conduct in scientific research.
- AGU's Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy takes a strong stance against harassment, discrimination and bullying by including them in the definition of scientific misconduct.
- AGU's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (PDF) incorporates D&I across all the organization's strategic goals to enact change in the Earth and space science culture and community.
- AGU’s position statement, The Responsibilities and Rights of Scientists, provides supporting ethical principles for the responsible practice of science.
- Thriving Earth Exchange's Community Science Principles and Statement on Integrity describes the principles and foundations for community science, as well as the mutual benefits experienced by both science and communities. (PDF)
- For an example of an ethics policy from another scientific society, please see the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics.
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting Code of Conduct is an example of a stand-alone meeting code of conduct.
- For an example of an anti-harassment policy from another scientific society, please see the American Astronomical Society's Anti-Harassment Policy.
- The Baylor University Department of Geosciences' Standards of Geoscience Ethics shows how a code of conduct can be adapted and applied to an academic geoscience department.
- The University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences' Guidelines provide an example of policy language applied for use by faculty, research scientists, staff, teaching and research assistants.
- For a wide selection of ethics codes and policies for reference as you develop your own, please visit the Illinois Institute of Technology's collection of ethics codes and policies.
The following is a list of reports providing guidance on ethical conduct and integrity while conducting research or working in the sciences.
- The AGU and Wiley book titled, Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences, describes the fundamental principles of scientific ethics and shows how they apply to everyday work in the classroom, laboratory and field.
- This book from The National Academies Press, Fostering Integrity in Research, outlines how organizations conducting research should encourage those involved to exemplify core values, such as objectivity and accountability, in every step of the research process.
- On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, a book published by The National Academies Press, describes the foundation of the scientific enterprise being based on ethical and accurate research conducted without bias.
Education, Tools & Surveys
These educational resources provide background information on partnerships to increase diversity, ethics and inclusion in the sciences.
- The AGU, Earth Science Women's Network and Association for Women Geoscientists' ADVANCEGeo partnership works to address sexual harassment and hostile working and learning climates in the Earth, space and environmental sciences.
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science's SEA Change initiative supports greater institutional diversity, equity and inclusion, especially on college and university campuses.
- The National Academy of Engineering's Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science website advances the understanding of responsible research and practice in both engineering and science through ethics literature.
- The Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions' Ethics Education Library provides case studies, syllabi and educational materials to help establish ethics training or instruction programs for students.
These surveys can help you implement a study of the environment at the departmental level or the institutional level in order to inform best practices in your workplace.
- The Administrator-Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative (ARC3) campus climate survey provides guidance for requesting and conducting a campus survey.
- The National Center for Professional & Research Ethics' Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOURCE) outlines how to implement a departmental survey for academic leadership development.
Workshops & Trainings
Click here to visit workshops & trainings related to ethics in science.