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Integrity of Science

Engage on Campus

Three Simple Ways to Promote Scientific Integrity on Campus

1. Sign the Student Pugwash Pledge
2. Educate Others
3. Host an Event

Sign the Student Pugwash Pledge

Through the SPUSA pledge program young people are challenged to make a personal commitment to use science and technology in a socially responsible way , thereby, contributing to a safer, more just society. The pledge creates public discourse over the role of individual responsibility when selecting a career.

The pledge reads:

I promise to work for a better world, where science and technology are used in socially responsible ways. I will not use my education for any purpose intended to harm human beings or the environment. Throughout my career, I will consider the ethical implications of my work before I take action. While the demands placed upon me may be great, I sign this declaration because I recognize that individual responsibility is the first step on the path to peace.

Download Pledge Brochure (279K PDF)

Encouraging young scientists to make ethical decisions throughout their careers is an excellent way to maintain the integrity of science in the future.

Sign the pledge today!

Educate Others

When politics and science collide, public misunderstanding of the scientific process often results. Scientists are sometimes nervous about becoming involved in the public forum, fearing they will come off as partisan or that they lack the communications skills to deliver their message. Educating others about science, especially future generations of scientists, is a great way to promote integrity in science without becoming involved in contentious debate.

Here are a few suggestions for engaging the public in science.

  • Volunteer at a local museum. It's a wonderful way to educate the public, and it's very inspiring for children and youth to meet older students who are passionate about science.
  • Offer to be a mentor to a boy or girl scout receiving a science badge, a tutor to a younger student struggling in math or science, or become involved with another organization that offers similar opportunities. Many after-school programs at local public schools could use the help of college science students.
  • Do an interview with your campus radio or TV about what you have learned about scientific integrity or about the research you are doing.
  • Host an open lab night or an observing night on campus. Invite the general public and local schools. Many universities already host these events; check with your department to volunteer.

Plan an Event on your Campus

You don't have to be affiliated with a Student Pugwash chapter to host a scientific integrity event on campus. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize a discussion on campus. Scientific integrity experts are definitely lurking on your campus or in your community. (The Science, Technology, and Society Department is a great place to look if your campus has one.) Foster discussion on this important subject by inviting them to speak! Unsure about planning an event? Student Pugwash can help- email and check out our online chapter organizing guide for event planning suggestions.
  • Plan a movie screening. Movies are often an attractive way to engage busy students on important issues. Be sure to offer refreshments to increase turnout (check with your department for funding).
  • Harness campus media resources. Scientific integrity issues ranging from political interference in science to conflict of interest funding appear in the papers frequently. Write a letter to the editor of your campus newspaper calling attention to these issues and how they affect your work and your department. Unhappy with the coverage your campus newspaper provides? Develop a scientific integrity newsletter online or in print.
  • Get involved in legislative efforts. Interested in legislation on scientific integrity? The Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy organization, is closely monitoring legislative action on this issue.