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Charters in relation to research activities

The ANR’s charter of ethics and scientific integrity expresses the general meaning, principles and rules of action and behaviour that internal and external employees of the ANR and members of the ANR Governing Board undertake to respect in the activities that they carry out on behalf of the agency. If any of these rules are breached, the ANR has a duty to take appropriate action.

The French National Charter for Research Integrity clarifies the professional responsibilities ensuring a rigorous and trustworthy scientific approach, and will apply in the context of all national and international partnerships. This Charter is well aligned with the main international texts in this field: the European Charter for Researchers (2005), the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (2010), the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2011). The Charter falls within the reference framework put forward in the European research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

The guide is primarily for information purposes: it reminds readers that research takes place within a legal framework, and sets out some of the rules concerning the profession's statutes. Everyone should be familiar with them, but, in practice, many are not. It briefly analyses the difficult situations that may confront all those involved in research (researchers, research professors and research support staff). The guide also recommends best practices for publishing, data processing, making research findings accessible to the scientific community, or communicating research, for example. It stresses the absolute obligation to avoid conflicts of interest. The guide is intended for anyone involved in research, regardless of the discipline in which they work or their status in the institution. It obviously concerns researchers who are new to the field, whether permanent or not, and who find themselves confronted with new responsibilities for which they have no training. Over and above the advice it contains, the guide sets out to provide a framework for discussion and collective thought.

The ultimate policy objective of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers is to help build a European employment market that is attractive, open and sustainable for researchers, in which the framework conditions make it possible to recruit and retain high calibre researchers, in environments propitious to efficiency and productivity.

General considerations on research ethics

  • Initiation à l'éthique de la recherche scientifique (Cerna, June 2016)

The Cahier de la Cerna 2016, which was published on the Allistene website less than three months after the publication of the order establishing that training on scientific integrity is now compulsory for PhDs, sets out the main components of a PhD course on research ethics. The course's main aim is to show PhD students how to ask themselves questions about ethics, but makes no claim to be exhaustive. The document is designed as a basic guide to design a course and does not go into exhaustive detail, leaving this to the judgement of the establishments delivering PhDs and their faculty.

This report on ethics and digital technology sets out to provide guidelines for factoring ethics into technology in an enterprise setting.

This report by the CNRS Ethics Committee (Comets) deals with research ethics in the field of information and communication science and technology. Written in 2009, it makes eight recommendations, the first of which is to set up a national ethics committee for research in information and communication science and technology.

Established by UNESCO in 2001, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on November 10 each year. It is an opportunity to remind the world of UNESCO's role and commitment to science. This annual event was instituted following the World Conference on Science, jointly organised by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest (Hungary) in 1999. Every year, World Science Day is a chance to reassert our commitment to achieving the objectives set out in one of the documents adopted by the World Conference on Science: the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge.

In a ground-breaking 1974 text, UNESCO recognises that scientific discoveries and related technological developments and applications open up vast prospects for progress made possible in particular by the optimal utilization of science and scientific methods for the benefit of humankind and for the preservation of peace and the reduction of international tensions but may, at the same time, entail certain dangers which constitute a threat, especially in cases where the results of scientific research are used against humankind's vital interests in order to prepare wars involving destruction on a massive scale or for purposes of the exploitation of one nation by another, and in any event give rise to complex ethical and legal problems. To face this challenge, Member States should develop or devise machinery for the formulation and execution of adequate policies, that is to say, policies designed to avoid the possible dangers and fully realize and exploit the positive prospects inherent in such discoveries, technological developments and applications.

International scientific ethics

Principles of good scientific teaching and research written in 2004 and revised in 2012. This Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice was drawn up at the request of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (Vereniging van Universiteiten, VSNU). The wish for a Code of Conduct stems from the generally shared conviction that (employees of) institutes that fulfil a societal role are held to a proper exercise of their duties. Rules that establish correct practice should be entrusted to paper to provide common ground and, if necessary, ground for admonishment.

Inria documents

At the request of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, a French National Charter of Scientific and Technical Expertise was drawn up in early 2010. This commitment, which was a recommendation of the French multi-party debate on environmental issues (Grenelle de l'environnement), aims to generalise and harmonise the practices of public research organisations in terms of expertise, and more specifically in the environmental field.

  • Rapport sur la création d'un comité d'éthique en sciences et technologies du numérique (May 2009) (in French)

This report on setting up an ethics committee for digital science and technology was written in 2009 at the request of Inria's CEO, after interviewing prominent figures with responsibilities on various ethics-related committees, along with researchers faced with ethics issues in their everyday work. The report recommends setting up an ethics committee to deal with digital science and technology at Inria and in France in general.

Keywords: Ethics COERLE Charters

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