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European Geosciences Union

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Joint EGU-AGU statement of principles for a code of ethics for the geosciences

4 April 2018

The geosciences advance our understanding of the Earth and contribute to a universal quest for knowledge about our world. The culture of science varies internationally, yet integrity must remain inviolate. The geosciences community affirms the international principle that the free, open, and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. We also affirm a desire to foster and support a safe and professional environment in order to learn, conduct research, and communicate science with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency, and without censorship, coercion, or harassment. This includes all professional interactions within the scientific community and with members of the public and policy makers. Failure to uphold these principles harms our profession, our scientific credibility, and the well-being of individuals and the broader community. It is the responsibility of all geoscientists to ensure the rigor and integrity of our scientific practice and to work to prevent actions contrary to the spirit of the above principles. To that end, we encourage all geoscientists to adopt the following code of conduct for rigour, respect, and responsibility in their professional activities.

Rigour

  • Act with skill and care in all scientific work. Accept personal accountability to report findings and interpretations fully, accurately, and objectively, including characterization of uncertainties.
  • Follow best practices for data management, accessibility, and preservation.
  • Participate in peer review, providing fair, impartial, respectful, and rigorous evaluations. Be honest about conflicts of interest.

Respect

  • Treat others with courtesy, equity, and fairness. Do not engage in discrimination, harassment, or bullying.
  • Respect and promote the freedom of others to responsibly pursue science, without interference, censorship, or coercion.
  • Respect the intellectual property rights of others and properly acknowledge the contributions of others.

Responsibility

  • Be aware of, and adhere to, regulations and professional standards related to misconduct in science.
  • Take responsibility to act or intercede where possible to prevent misconduct and to report it when detected.
  • Foster a safe, open, and professional environment for research, learning, and communicating science with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency, and without censorship, coercion, or harassment.
  • Identify, minimize, and justify any adverse effects that research may have on people, animals, heritage sites, and the natural environment.
  • Responsibly, accurately, and clearly inform wider society about scientific understanding of geoscience phenomena of importance to the well-being of Earth and society. Present and review scientific evidence, theory or interpretation honestly and accurately and clearly distinguish professional comments from opinions based on personal views.