Federal officials and a chemical industry trade group recently convened a conference to help establish a new ethical code for chemistry.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the State Department's Chemical Security Program and the American Chemical Society organized the meeting of 30 chemists from 18 countries last month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, according to Chemistry World.
The two-day conference produced the Global Chemists' Code of Ethics, which aims to address real-world ethical questions in the chemical industry by incorporating criteria such as safety, security and sustainability.
Proponents hope that the document will either be broadly adopted or utilized as a starting point for scientists and policymakers at regional or local levels.
The provisions of the GCCE, based on 2015 guidelines for chemical weapons, are voluntary and non-enforceable, but experts indicated that it could be an effective statement of principles within the scientific community.
"It can be thought of as a tool for shaping the intent of the individual, to give teeth to the regulations that an institution of country may have in place as they encourage the responsible practice of chemistry," PNNL's Kabrena Rodda told CW.