Scientists praise new UK ethics code

New guidelines may help protect young whistleblowers, researchers say

Stephen Pincock
Jan 9, 2006
A new ethical code which sets out the values and responsibilities of all scientists will be launched later this year, the British government said this week. The code has been welcomed by researchers who say it might help junior scientists blow the whistle on senior colleagues and serve as a basis for more specific codes of conduct.The code, which urges scientists to act with "rigor, respect, and responsibility," was initially drafted by David King, the UK government's chief scientific advisor, together with a small working group of senior scientists. Currently, scientists are guided by ethical guidelines put in place by their own places of work or funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, but there has been no overarching statement of ethical principles for the profession.During 2005, the government's top level advisory body, the Council for Science and Technology (CST), wrote to universities, professional bodies, funders, schools and trade unions,...

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