Ethics and Law Activities

The Program is committed to promoting high standards for the practice of science and engineering, and monitoring and enhancing assessment of emerging ethical and legal issues related to science and technology through a variety of projects, activities and publications.


Social Networking and Online Health Communities: Identifying and Describing Patient-Generated Registries

With funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), this new project will look at how patient-generated health registries are being used in medical research.

Judicial Seminars on Emerging Issues in Neuroscience

AAAS and its collaborators have convened seminars to inform judges of the issues they may encounter in light of new developments in neuroscience. Selected federal, state, and administrative law judges have heard leading neuroscientists reflect on such topics as the neuroscience of pain, violence and the brain, memory and lie detection, states of consciousness, and others.

Neuroscience and Society Series

The series, which was launched in 2012 and will continue in 2014, is a partnership between the Dana Foundation and  AAAS.

Court Appointed Scientific Experts

CASE is a service that assists federal and state judges, administrative law judges and arbitrators in identifying highly qualified scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals to serve as scientific and technical experts.

Workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment

In conjunction with its Annual Meeting, AAAS convenes a one-day workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment The workshops have been supported with funding from the 3M corporation, ORI, and NSF.

China and Research Integrity

AAAS and the China Association for Science & Technology (CAST) are engaged in dialogue on the ethical and social responsibilities of scientists and engineers. In addition to four meetings convened so far, there are plans for joint projects and other collaborative activities. 

Advocacy in Science

With a grant from the National Science Foundation, AAAS convened an invitational workshop that explored issues related to advocacy in science. Among those issues discussed were the definition and boundaries of advocacy as it might be applied to scientists in the policy arena, the normative aspects of such advocacy and any existing guidelines, and the need for education on advocacy for scientists and students.


  • Evidence for New Medical Products: Implications for Patients and Health Policy: June 13, 2014
  • Educating Scientists in Research Ethics for the 21st Century: June 8-11, 2014
  • Smells Delicious and Good to Eat: How Your Brain Distinguishes Tastes and Aromas: May 6, 2014
  • Wake Up, I'm Speaking: The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreaming: March 11, 2014
  • Workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment: February 13, 2014


Information on purchasing books and a full list of the Program's publications is available here


Professional Ethics Report (PER), which has been in publication since 1988, reports on news, events, programs, activities, and resources related to professional ethics issues, with a particular focus on those professions whose members are engaged in scientific research and its applications.