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Topics and policy

Ethics and conduct

Good science relies on scientists generating and sharing their findings with openness and honesty, which ensures the use of science for social benefit and a culture that fosters research integrity. Poor practices or pressures created by intense competition for funding and promotion can undermine potential benefits and slow down progress.

Everyone involved in science is responsible for ensuring that high quality science is done with honesty and integrity, and to high ethical standards. We support this through open discussion of what good science is and supporting initiatives on research integrity.

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Our analysis and advice

  • Science as an open enterprise

    The report highlights the need to grapple with the huge deluge of data created by modern technologies.

    Read the report

  • Animals in research

    Statement of the Royal Society’s position on the use of animals in research. 

    Read the statement

  • Reforms to the UK’s higher education, research and innovation system

    We are working closely with the Fellowship and the broader research and innovation community to engage with the Higher Education and Research Bill.

    What is the Society doing?

  • The culture of scientific research in the UK

    The findings of a series of engagement activities by Nuffield Council on Bioethics.   

    Read the report

  • Brain waves

    This project investigated developments in neuroscience and their implications for society and public policy.

    Explore the project

  • Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

    The Royal Society has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which challenges the role played by the Impact Factor as the main means for evaluating science.

    Find out more

Also of interest

In Verba blog

Fellows working in this area

Professor Ottoline Leyser

Professor Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development at the University of Cambridge and director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge.

Professor Leyser has also collated ‘Mothers in Science: 64 Ways to Have it All’, a book that highlights how female scientists have successfully combined parenting with their research careers.

Professor Robin Perutz

Professor Robin Perutz is professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of York where he conducts research in the fields of inorganic chemistry, photochemistry and catalysis.

He is a member of the Royal Society’s Diversity Committee and the UK Academies Human Rights Committee. His past awards include the 2005 Nyholm Prize for Inorganic Chemistry.