12 September 2007

Ethics Code For Politicians

Professor Sir David King [BBC]Professor Sir David King has outlined seven principles aimed at building trust between scientists and society: Rigour, respect and responsibility: a universal ethical code for scientists. How about a similar code for politicians, in addition to the existing ministers' code of conduct, to help rebuild trust between politicians and society? Here's a first draft for you to suggest improvements to, based on the proposed code for scientists:

Rigour, honesty and integrity

  • Act with skill and care in all political activities. Maintain up to date skills and assist their development in others
  • Take steps to prevent corrupt practices and professional misconduct. Declare conflicts of interest
  • Be alert to the ways in which your own political activities derives from and affects the work of other people, and respect the rights and reputations of others
Respect for life, the law and the public good
  • Ensure that your work is lawful and justified
  • Minimise and justify any adverse effect your political activities may have on people, animals and the natural environment
Responsible communication: listening and informing
  • Seek to discuss the issues that politics raises for society. Listen to the aspirations and concerns of others
  • Do not knowingly mislead, or allow others to be misled, about political matters. Present and review political evidence, theory or interpretation honestly and accurately