Ethics in Physics

Guided by our mission, vision, and values, APS strives to model truth, integrity, and respect within the physics community.

Ethics foundations at APS

To meet a need in the physics community for ethical standards, the APS Council approved our Ethics Statement, which informs our ethics guidelines and upholds integrity, honesty, and respect within the profession.

Our Ethics Statement lays out two ethical pillars that uphold the success of the scientific enterprise: the responsibility to tell the truth and the responsibility to treat people well.

Informed by our Ethics Statement, APS demonstrates our commitment to ethics through guidelines for respectful, inclusive, and honest conduct in the field of physics.

Reporting an ethics concern

Anyone filing a complaint using our confidential, easy-to-use reporting options should be prepared to check back with the channel to respond to follow-up questions about the report. Be sure to include a complete description, including who, what, where, and when, of the conduct or incident that is the basis of the report.

You can raise a concern about potential ethics violations in the following ways:

If you report anonymously, we may be limited in our ability to respond, meet your desired resolution and/or keep you updated on the status of your complaint.

Case studies

Case studies can assist students in thinking through ethical questions and situations that may arise when researching, publishing, and working in physics.
Review the case studies

Related policies and procedures

APS derives our policies and procedures for appropriate, respectful conduct from our ethics guidelines.

Our code of conduct strives to foster a respectful, welcoming atmosphere at our meetings and events.

APS leaders and awardees are expected to uphold exemplary behavior that aligns with our ethics guidelines.

These procedures outline the process for upholding our revocation policy, ethics guidelines, and standards for professional scientific conduct.

To begin the process for initiating a revocation request, information must be sent in writing to the Ethics Committee.

The APS Ethics Committee

Made up of a diverse group of members from APS, the Ethics Committee is responsible for ensuring that our policies and procedures are up-to-date and that our ethics education efforts are effective.
Learn about the committee

Ethics articles

APS News provides an outlet for physicists to discuss ethical questions and issues that arise within the scientific community.


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