The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct

The American Chemical Society expects its members to adhere to the highest ethical and safety  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 endeavors to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people, and has obligations to the public, to colleagues, and to science.

"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 The Chemist’s Code of Conduct was updated and replaced by The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct to better reflect the changing times and current trends of the Society in 2007 and subsequently updated in 2012, 2016 and 2019.  The current version of The Chemical Professional Code of Conduct was approved by the ACS Council on August 28. 2019 and adopted by the ACS Council on December 6, 2019

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Chemical professionals should seek to advance chemical science while striving for the highest standards of scientific integrity. This includes sharing ideas and information, keeping accurate and complete records, and giving due credit to the contributions of others. Undisclosed conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, including fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, are incompatible with this code.

Chemical professionals should be aware of laws and regulations related to the professional conduct of science to ensure that their profession is practiced safely and appropriately.

Chemical professionals should be actively concerned with the health and safety of co‐workers,  consumers, and the community. Professionals have a responsibility to serve the public interest and to further advance scientific knowledge. This includes ensuring that public comments are made with care and accuracy to avoid unsubstantiated, exaggerated, or premature statements.

Chemical professionals should treat others with respect and will not engage in discrimination, harassment, bullying, dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, censorship, or other misconduct. Such actions apply to all professional, research, and learning environments, regardless of whether or not the action alters the content, veracity, or meaning of research findings, and regardless of whether or not the action affects the planning, conduct, reporting, or application of science.

Chemical professionals should take responsibility to act or intercede where possible to prevent misconduct. This includes reporting suspected research misconduct, as well as any discrimination, harassment, bullying, dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, or censorship.

Chemical professionals should be mindful of Implicit Bias and Unconscious Bias and strive to avoid all bias based on race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, presence of disabilities, educational background, or other personal attributes.

Chemical professionals should strive to do their work in ways that are safe and sustainable for the environment. This includes continuing to work to develop sustainable products and processes that protect the health, safety, and prosperity of future generations.

Chemical professionals should serve clients faithfully and incorruptibly, respect confidentiality, advise honestly, and charge fairly. Additionally, they should promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers, comply with safety policies and procedures, fulfill obligations, and safeguard proprietary and confidential business information.

Chemical professionals should strive for continual professional growth both personally and more broadly in the tutelage of others as a trust conferred by society. Professionals have a responsibility to understand limitations of their knowledge, remain current with developments in their field, learn with and encourage others.

For more information about the Department of Career and Professional Advancement, please see our Contacts List.