Aims and Goals of the Working Party
The Working Party is a network of representatives of the EuChemS member societies with the goal to promote the understanding of the importance of ethical considerations in education and practice of pure and applied chemistry.
(Supporting letter of Roald Hoffmann)
Science and technology shape society faster and stronger than ever, nationally and globally. Chemistry is a key science and technology in this process, contributing directly and indirectly by providing new substances and materials needed for advancement of the wealth of nations. But the quantitative growth of material turnover also entails new risks. It is in the interest of us chemists to participate in the process of finding the proper way between Scylla and Charybdis, together with policy makers, regulators, and agitators for sustainable and sound (chemical) progress, also for the sake of our reputation and acceptance by society. Therefore, awareness of the ethical, social and cultural dimensions of practicing chemistry is in the interest of us chemists and of society as a whole.
The EuChemS Working Party “Ethics in Chemistry” aims at raising new perspectives by elaborating insightful viewpoints on those dimensions, based on the philosophical foundations of Chemistry. Its objectives are:
- Contributing to the professional discussion of chemistry-related ethical issues (Science Ethics)
- Elaborating codes of conduct, approaches of “good scientific practice”, and “chemical ethos” (Professional Ethics)
- Identifying “hot topics” in ethics issues related to chemical research and engineering, and communicating them within the chemical community
- Sharpening the awareness of chemists for ethical, social and legal implications of their professional practice, integrating these topics into education of chemists
- Participating in national and international science governance, regulatory boards, and ethics committees
See the Statutes (pdf) here.
The WP’s Agenda
The roots of the EuChemS working party Ethics in Chemistry date back to the early 2000s when Hartmut Frank, environmental chemist at the University of Bayreuth, reached out to Nobel laureates Richard Ernst and Roald Hoffmann, and other like-minded chemists like Carl Djerassi and Francesco Dondi, to discuss the professional responsibility of chemists as actors with great impact on society and environment. The group expanded and constituted itself as a EuChemS working party with official delegates from many national member societies. Among its joint efforts are position papers on topics at the intersection of chemistry and applied ethics in Angewandte Chemie and Chemistry – A European Journal, symposia at the biannual EuChemS conferences, and the conceptualisation and realisation of an online course Good Chemistry: Methodological, Ethical, and Social Dimensions offered on the e-learning platform of EuChemS to chemistry students in the EU.
A key theme that structures the work and the discussions of the working party is the insight that chemists have both internal and external responsibilities for their decisions and actions. The internal domain concerns good scientific practice, research integrity, and the compliance with professional guidelines of how to do science right. The external dimension includes topics such as the dual use character of chemical innovations, sustainability, risk, and the role of chemical expertise in science policy and innovation governance. With this pragmatic-practical approach, the working party aims to represent the chemical community in those science and innovation discourses that have an applied-ethical dimension that is relevant for the daily professional conduct of chemists.
Join our Activities!
Currently, not all the national member societies of EuChemS are represented in the working party. Moreover, diverse and fresh approaches to ethical discourses in chemistry are always welcome. EuChemS members with a personal or professional interest in aspects of responsible conduct in chemical science, innovation, education, communication, or regulation are invited to join the WP! Please contact the Steering Committee of the working party. A fruitful collaboration creating synergies for meaningful contributions to the interdisciplinary discourse on good chemistry lies ahead!
For updates on our activities, and to get involved actively, please see our “EthiChem” Newsletters on the News page.
|Senior Chair||Prof. Dr. Hartmut Frank||hartmut.frank [at] uni-bayreuth [dot] de|
|Chair||Prof. Dr. Anca Silvestru||anca.silvestru [at] ubbcluj [dot] ro|
|Vice Chair||Dr. Hans W. Steisslinger||hw.steisslinger [at] terra-institute [dot] eu|
|Secretary||Dr. Jan Mehlich||jmehlich [at] uni-bonn [dot] de|
Prof. Dr. Roald
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Prof. Dr. Erhard Meyer-Galow
Author of “Business Ethics 3.0”
Dr.h.c. mult. Ahmet Üzümcü
Director-General (2010-18) of the Org. f. the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
Prof. em. Dr. Ulrich Schubert, Institute of Materials Chemistry, Vienna University of Technology
Dr. Brigitte van Tiggelen, Director
Chemical Heritage Foundation Europe
Prof. Dr. Pavel Drasar, UCHPL VSCHT Praha [ICT Prague]
Prof. Dr. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne
Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut Frank, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Prof. em. Dr. Maria Ochsenkühn-Petropoulo, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, National Technical University, Athens
Dr. Georgina Toth-Nagy, Institute of Environmental Engineering, University of Pannonia, Veszprém
Prof. Dr. Meital Reches, Inst. Chemistry, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Hebrew University Jerusalem
Prof. Dr. Luigi Campanella, Dipartimento di Chimica Università di Roma 1
Prof. Dr. Jan Reedijk,Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Prof. Dr. Janina Lulek, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University Poznań
Prof. Dr. Mário Nuno Berberan Santos, Institute for Bioengineering & Biosciences, Universidade de Lisboa
Prof. Dr. Anca Silvestru, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Cluj-Napoca
Prof. Dr. Stepan Kalmykov, Dean, Faculty of Chemistry, Moscow State University
Prof. Dr. Marija Bešter-Rogač, Faculty Chemistry & Chem. Engineering, University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Pilar Goya, Instituto de Química Médica, CSIC
Prof.em. Dr. Margareta Törnqvist, Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University
Prof. Dr. Olimpia Mamula Steiner, Inst. of Chemical Technology, Uni Applied Sciences, Fribourg
Prof.Dr.Hasan Secen, Ataturk University
Dr. Modest Gertsyuk, Institute of Environmental Geochemistry, National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Ukraine
Toby Underwood, Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge
Former Honorary Members
Richard R. Ernst
1933 – 2021
1923 – 2015
Link to the Obituary of the Stanford University
Link to the Obituary of the Economist
1943 – 2015
Link to one video of F.Dondi