Friday, September 22, 2006

What ever happened to the Ethics Committee for the American Chemical Society?

Further to the Bengu Sezen matter at Columbia University, I posted the following on the paulbracher blog. No response so far.

As a follow-up inquiry, does anyone know what happened to the proposal for the ACS to have an Ethics Committee? I was on the Task Force, and the last I heard from the Task Force was that the proposal was moved along at the New Orleans meeting. However, a post on the internet seems to indicate that the proposal was sent back. George Wyman sent a letter to C&E News about this (don’t know if it was published).

Separately, has anyone heard about the results of the Brauman Committee that was supposed to look into the handling of the Hwang publications by Science?

The paulbracher blog had posted from IPBiz:

IPBiz note: Having served on the Ethics Task Force of the American Chemical Society, I can say that “education” was the main thrust of the Society’s efforts. Unlike the APS, the ACS took no steps on co-author responsibility. Furthermore, the ACS took no steps on enhancing editor responsibility or facilitating the publishing of corrections/commmentary.

As a followup:

Report to Council - March 29, 2006
Ethics Committee

Margaret Cavanaugh, Chair

The first meeting of the Ethics Committee was held at this national meeting. The Committee was established by Council and the Board in fall 2005.

Committee members were briefed on events leading to the establishment of the Ethics Committee and then carefully reviewed their charge. The Committee decided to pursue two areas in the near term:

Ethics Education, which may result in an inventory of resources, development of a website, and curriculum materials; and

Ethics Awareness, which may lead to articles in ACS publications and newsletters, and symposia or other programming at local, regional, and national meetings.

The Committee established a task group in each of these areas to develop specific plans for review at the Committee’s next meeting. Initial programming at national meetings is anticipated in 2007.

The Ethics Committee agreed on two values to guide its activities: (1) encouraging dialogue, and (2) partnering with other ACS entities. Consistent with these values, the Committee has begun and will continue to pursue establishing liaison relationships with appropriate committees and divisions. We also invite your input regarding what ethics issues are most important to ACS members.


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