The Chemical Professional's Code of Conduct | April 30, 2007 Issue - Vol. 85 Issue 18 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 18 | Web Exclusive
Issue Date: April 30, 2007

The Chemical Professional's Code of Conduct

Department: ACS News

"The American Chemical Society expects its members to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Indeed, the federal Charter of the Society (1937) explicitly lists among its objectives & the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of chemists through high standards of professional ethics, education and attainments." The chemical professional has obligations to the public, to colleagues, and to science.

Chemical Professionals Acknowledge Their Responsibilities To:

The Public

Chemical professionals have a professional responsibly to serve the public interest and safety and to further knowledge of science. They should actively be concerned with the health and safety of co-workers, consumers, and the community. Public comments on scientific matters should be made with care and accuracy, without unsubstantiated, exaggerated, or premature statements.

The Science of Chemistry

Chemical professionals should seek to advance chemical science, understand the limitations of their knowledge, and respect the truth. Chemists should ensure that their scientific contributions, and those of their collaborators, are thorough, accurate, and unbiased in design, implementation, and presentation.

The Profession

Chemical professionals should strive to remain current with developments in their field, share ideas and information, keep accurate and complete laboratory records, maintain integrity in all conduct and publications, and give due credit to the contributions of others. Conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, are incompatible with this Code.

The Employer

Chemical professionals should promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers, perform work honestly and competently, fulfill obligations, and safeguard proprietary and confidential business information.


Chemical professionals, as employers, should treat subordinates with respect for their professionalism and concern for their well-being, without bias. Employers should provide them with a safe, congenial working environment, fair compensation, opportunities for advancement, and proper acknowledgment of their scientific contributions.


Chemical professionals should regard the tutelage of students as a trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student's learning and professional development. Each student should be treated fairly, respectfully, and without exploitation.


Chemical professionals should treat associates with respect, regardless of the level of their formal education, encourage them, learn with them, share ideas honestly, and give credit for their contributions.


Chemical professionals should serve clients faithfully and incorruptibly, respect confidentiality, advise honestly, and charge fairly.

The Environment

Chemical professionals should strive to understand and anticipate the environmental consequences of their work. They have a responsibility to minimize pollution and to protect the environment.

"The Chemist's Creed," was approved by the ACS Council in 1965. The principles of The Chemist's Code of Conduct were prepared by the council Committee on Professional Relations, approved by the Council (March 16, 1994), and replaced "The Chemist's Creed." They were adopted by the Board of Directors (June 3, 1994) for the guidance of Society members in various professional dealings, especially those involving conflicts of interest. The chemists Code of Conduct was updated and replaced by "The Chemical Professional's Code of Conduct" to better reflect the changing times and current trends of the society. It was approved by Council on March, 28, 2007.

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