Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scientific community calls for universal code of conduct

Representatives from a number of the world's top science research organisations have endorsed a call for a universal code of conduct on the rights, freedom and responsibilities of scientific workers, demanding that such a code be recognised by, and built into, the legislation of individual countries. This call was part of a declaration that was adopted by participants at the recently ended World Science Forum. The declaration included proposals on topics ranging from scientific capacity building to the global divide in access to scientific knowledge. A code of conduct, it states, would help avoid harm "due to ignorance or misjudgement of the consequences of new discoveries and applications of scientific knowledge". "It is the responsibility of those who promote science and scientists to maintain the primacy of moral and social concerns over short-term economic interest in the selection and implementation of industrialised research projects." The next World Science Forum will take place in Brazil in 2013.

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