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Responsibilities of scientists underlined by scientific community
Date:9/30/2011

Rome, Italy The General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) today reaffirmed the universal values that should guide the conduct of science. It explicitly recognized the key social responsibilities of the scientific community that need to accompany the free practice of science. While the focus of the Principle of Universality of Science which is central to ICSU's statutes and a basic condition of worldwide membership of the ICSU family has been on the preservation of scientific freedoms, ICSU is mindful of the need for scientists to pay equal attention to their responsibilities.

"The balance between scientific freedom and responsibility is not always easy to get right, but awareness of its significance and of the value of ongoing dialogue must be maintained within the scientific community." says Bengt Gustafsson, Chair of ICSU's Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS). "By extending its consideration of the long-established Principle of the Universality to explicitly include responsibilities as well as freedoms, ICSU has emphasized that this balance is critical both for science and society."

The new wording of the Principle was approved today by the membership of ICSU at its General Assembly in Rome. It reads as follows:

The Principle of Universality (freedom and responsibility) of Science

The free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. Such practice, in all its aspects, requires freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists, as well as equitable access to data, information, and other resources for research. It requires responsibility at all levels to carry out and communicate scientific work with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency, recognising its benefits and possible harms.

In advocating the free and responsible practice of science, ICSU pr
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Contact: Howard Moore
howard.moore@icsu.org
33-642-793-771
International Council for Science
Source:Eurekalert

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