ASM Centralizes Ethics Efforts in New Portal

Sept. 21, 2020

Washington, D.C. - September 21, 2020 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has launched a new, centralized ethics portal. The ethics portal will communicate to and educate ASM members on ASM’s ethics policies and will streamline the way ethical concerns are handled. The new portal will ensure ethics policies are integrated consistently across ASM’s programs, so all ethics issues are dealt with equally and fairly.

Previously, the ASM ethics policies specifically focused on issues involving scientific misconduct and journals-publishing ethics, but since 2017 ASM began expanding its ethics policies to include a broader range of topics, including:

●    Establishing the ASM Events Code of Conduct to address sexual harassment and other forms of harassment
●    Supporting both U.S. Senate and House legislation to combat sexual harassment in STEM
●    Participating in the Leadership Council of the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical fields (STEMM)
●    Launching the ASM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion project (DEI), a year-long study that aims to make the microbial sciences more inclusive

The ethics portal centralizes all of these resources in one place for easy access and reference, including the ASM Code of Ethics and Conduct, the guiding ethical standards for society members. These principles aim to uphold and advance the integrity and dignity of the profession and practice of the microbial sciences. A portal for anonymous submission of ethics and compliance concerns is also available through the new ethics portal.

“Science is rooted in ethics. Every scientific discovery opens the door for further analysis, so honesty and integrity in evaluating and presenting data is essential for the scientific enterprise,” said Stanley Maloy, ASM’s Ethics Committee Chair. “Open sharing of methods, results and conclusions is crucial for analysis of the validity and interpretation of scientific discoveries, a process cannot happen in an environment that is inhibited by harassment. Thus, ethics affects everything we do at ASM, from publishing journals and books, organizing conferences, podcasts and webinars, and sharing educational materials to communicating science with members, the public and policy makers. Centralizing the ASM Ethics processes will unify and streamline our efforts promote ethical practices throughout the many different spheres of our society,” he added.

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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