The American Society For Microbiology: An Overview Of The Code Of Ethics

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The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has defined a code of ethics for its members. This document has detailed standards for ethics, rules of conduct, and has a provision for extensive ethical review of any breach of ethical conduct, with provisions for appeal as well. The vision statement of the code of ethics emphasizes the promotion of human welfare, accumulation of knowledge, and honesty and truthfulness in all activities endorsed by the society. The jurisdiction of this code of ethics extends to all members of the ASM. The first impression of this code insists on the length of these rules. One can expect at least 10 ethical standards for society members, while this code contains 6 of these standards. After listing the ethical standards, …show more content…
Employees should have more ethical standards about the environment they work and research in. Labs are not the same as an office, and therefore a set of rules specifically dedicated to labs is required. Additionally, the rules of conduct and ethical standards are very general and they do not specifically target issues that may happen in the Microbiology field. Another recommended change would be an addition of rules that apply to the microbiologist society only. Having general rules means that there is more room to bend them. The more specific the rules are, the less room is for misunderstanding. If any ethical issue happens within the microbiologist society, one will not be able to find a certain rule that will respond to that specific issue. No matter how general an ethical issue may be, it still requires a specific set of rules that can be followed by anyone who is involved. Lastly, the guiding principles are not explained well in this code. For example, the Code states: “ASM members seek to maintain and expand their professional knowledge and skills.” This principle is rather confusing, because how will you expand your professional knowledge? What does one need to do to apply this principle every time they work? It seems as a very vague principle, with no meaning behind it. However, this code addresses important issues such as plagiarism, scientific misconduct and issues that one needs to know before working in this field. The ethical review process is very well explained, by being confidential and fair in every

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