Two years ago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the largest organizations of practicing researchers in the world, circulated a questionnaire among its members in an effort to identify what they thought should be the highest priority for the science profession.

Among 57 possible choices offered by the questionnaire, the membership cited the development and articulation of ethical principles as the most urgent requirement of today's science profession.

The response to the AAAS poll is clear evidence of the hunger suffered by scientists for guiding ideals that would shape the principles of conduct governing individual researchers and the science community at large. Are we, indeed, leading our creative lives in a work atmosphere that is essentially indifferent to the ethical implications of our endeavors?

Ironically, a perusal of scientific journals seems to reveal that the recognition and articulation of ethical principles are not burning issues. Discussion...

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