SEPM Ethic Guidelines

SEPM Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct

(American Geoscience Institute Multi-Society Ethics Guidelines)

Geoscientists play a critical role in ethical decision-making about stewardship of Earth, the use of its resources, and the interactions between humankind and the planet on which we live. The public must trust and have confidence in the work of individual geoscientists and the geosciences as a profession. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) expects those in the profession to adhere to the highest ethical standards in all professional activities. Geoscientists should engage responsibly in the conduct and reporting of their work, acknowledging the uncertainties and limits of current understanding inherent in studies of natural systems. Geoscientists should respect the work of colleagues and those who use and rely upon the products of their work.

In day-to-day activities geoscientists should:

  • ·         Be honest.
  • ·         Act responsibly and with integrity, acknowledge limitations to knowledge and understanding, and be accountable for their errors.
  • ·         Present professional work and reports without falsification or fabrication of data, misleading statements, or omission of relevant facts.  
  • ·         Separate facts/observations from interpretations.
  • ·         Accurately cite authorship, acknowledge the contributions of others, and not engage in plagiarism.
  • ·         Acknowledge and act on real or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • ·         Continue professional development and growth.
  • ·         Encourage and assist in the development of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • ·         Treat colleagues, students, employees, and the public with respect.
  • ·         Keep privileged information confidential, except when doing so constitutes a threat to public health, safety, or welfare.

 As a member of a professional and scientific community, geoscientists should:

  •  ·         Promote greater understanding of the geosciences by other technical groups, students, the general public, news media, and policy makers through effective communication and education.
  • ·         Acknowledge the complexities and uncertainties of Earth systems.
  • ·         Use their technical knowledge and skills to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and enhance sustainability of society.
  • ·         Inform the public about natural resources, hazards, and other geologic phenomena   clearly, accurately, and responsibly.
  • ·         Advocate responsible stewardship of the planet through an improved understanding and interpretation of Earth systems, and by communicating real and potential implications of human actions.


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