April 21, 2024


The British government’s chief scientific adviser has launched a code of ethics for scientists. Professor Sir David King said that the new code will help to build trust between scientists and the public. It should encourage researchers to reflect upon the impact that their work will have on wider society. The seven principles, a sort of latter-day Hippocratic Oath for scientists, are:

  • Act with skill and care, keep skills up to date
  • Prevent corrupt practice and declare conflicts of interest
  • Respect and acknowledge the work of other scientists
  • Ensure that research is justified and lawful
  • Minimise impacts on people, animals and the environment
  • Discuss issues science raises for society
  • Do not mislead; present evidence honestly