The role of professional societies: Codes of conduct and their enforcement

Science and Engineering Ethics 4 (3):315-320 (1998)
Abstract
In discussions of professional standards and ethical values it is reasonable to consider who will develop the codes of conduct and guidelines for behavior that will reflect the standards and values of the community. Also worthy of consideration is whether the standards or guidelines are enforceable, and how and to what extent they will be enforced. The development of guidelines or professional codes of conduct is a responsibility that has been adopted by many professional societies. Useful to this discussion is an examination of the rationale behind the development of ethical codes by professional societies. The Ethics in Science Committee of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) has examined the codes of some of its member societies and some observations regarding them are pertinent. The nature and uses of ethical statements, codes and guidelines developed by professional societies are multiple and diverse. Their enforcement raises both practical and ethical concerns.
Keywords professional or of a professional organisation
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