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.
"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 The Chemist’s Code of Conduct was updated and replaced by The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct to better reflect the changing times and current trends of the Society. It was approved by Council on March 28, 2007 and adopted by the Board of Directors on June 2, 2007.
Chemical professionals have a responsibility to serve the public interest and safety and to further advance the 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.
Chemical professionals should seek to advance chemical science, understand the limitations of their knowledge, and respect the truth. They should ensure that their scientific contributions, and those of their collaborators, are thorough, accurate, and unbiased in design, implementation, and presentation.
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.
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 students’ 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.
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.