Addresses ethical, legal and human rights issues related to the conduct and application of science and technology.
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.
More About Our Ethics and Law Activities
- The Social Responsibilities of Scientists and Engineers AAAS received a grant to design and pre-test a global survey that will generate data about the views of scientists and engineers on their social responsibilities. Learn more about this project 
- Judicial Seminars on Neuroscience These seminars inform selected federal, state, and administrative law judges about the issues they may encounter in light of new developments in neuroscience. Leading neuroscientists address such topics as pain, violence, and memory. Learn more about this project 
- Neuroscience and Society Series This series of public events on neuroscience is a collaboration between the Dana Foundation and AAAS. The events, which take place in Washington, DC, have covered topics such as arts and the brain, aging, traumatic brain injury, phobias and illusions. Learn more about this project 
- Mobile Health and the Law AAAS convened three workshops each focusing on a single topic - privacy and security, regulation and safety, and liability and responsibility.Learn more about this project 
- Online Patient Generated Registries This project focused on an emerging source of health-related data – online patient generated health registries. It examined such matters as how registries are organized, their potential contributions to medical research, and related ethical and policy issues.Learn more about this project 
- Court Appointed Scientific Experts CASE is a service that assists federal and state judges, administrative law judges in identifying highly qualified scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals to serve as scientific and technical experts.Learn more about this project 
- Responsible Professional Research Practices These one-day workshops on ‘Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment’ were convened annually from 2001-2014 in conjunction with the AAAS Annual Meeting. The workshops have been supported with funding from the 3M corporation, ORI, and NSF.Learn more about this project 
- China and Research Integrity AAAS and the China Association for Science & Technology are engaged in dialogue on the ethical and social responsibilities of scientists and engineers. Learn more about this project 
- Advocacy in Science AAAS convened a workshop that explored issues related to advocacy in science, including the definition of advocacy as it applies to scientists in the policy arena, the normative aspects of advocacy and any existing guidelines, and the need for education. Learn more about this project 
- Forensic Science Assessments: A Quality and Gap Analysis AAAS conducted an analysis of the underlying scientific bases for the forensic tools and methods currently used in the criminal justice system. This project evaluated the quality of the studies the forensic community relies on to support its practices and, where the scientific underpinning of these practices falls short, recommended a research agenda for the field. Learn more about this project 
- The Anxious Brain: The Neuroscience of Phobias: October 18, 2016 
- Closing the Language Skills Gap Among Children: It's Never Too Soon to Start: September 28, 2016 
- Growing Older, Cognition, and What Science Has to Offer: June 15, 2016 
- The Science and Policy of Marijuana: March 30, 2016 
- Creativity, Genius and the Brain: October 27, 2016 
- Mental Illness Across the Ages: From Children, to Adolescents, to Middle Aged and the Elderly: September 30, 2015 
- From Birth to Two: Prepping for Life: June 18, 2015 
- Tangled up in Blue: The Complexity of Chronic Pain: March 18, 2015 
- Now You See It, Now You Don't. Is Anything Really as it Seems? The Science of Illusion: October 28, 2014 
- Stressing About Stress: What Our Minds and Bodies are Going Through and Ways to Cope: September 18, 2014 
- 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: F ebruary 13, 2014 
Professional Ethics Report  (PER), which first published in 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.
- Social Responsibility: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Perspectives of Scientists, Engineers and Health Professionals . J. Wyndham, R. Albro, J. Ettinger, K. Smith, M. Sabatello, M.S. Frankel. March, 2015.
- Advocacy in Science . AAAS Workshop Report, October 17-18, 2011.
- Exploring Legal Challenges to Fulfilling the Potential of mHealth in a Safe and Responsible Environment - Workshop Report 1: Regulation . Deborah Runkle, edited by Mark S. Frankel. April 7, 2015.
- Good, Better, Best: The Human Quest for Enhancement.  AAAS Workshop Report, June 1-2, 2006.
- Making Each Vote Count: A Research Agenda for Electronic Voting.  Mark S. Frankel. October, 2004.
- Neuroscience and the Law: Brain, Mind, and the Scales of Justice: A Summary Report.  Edited by Brent Garland, 2004.
- Regulating Human Cloning . AAAS Workshop Report, March 11, 2003.
- Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications: Assessing Scientific, Ethical, Religious, and Policy Issues.  Mark S. Frankel and Audrey R. Chapman, September 2000.
- Stem Cell Research and Applications: Monitoring the Frontiers of Biomedical Research.  Audrey R. Chapman, Mark S. Frankel, and Michele Garfinkel, November 1999.
- Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research on the Internet.  Mark S. Frankel and Sanyin Siang. November 1999.
- Personalized Medicine: Prescriptions and Prospects. Edited by Joanna Hawana and Deborah Runkle, 2011.
- Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation. Edited by Erik Parens, Audrey R. Chapman, and Nancy Press, 2006. Available through Johns Hopkins University Press. 
- Behavioral Genetics . Catherine Baker, 2004.
- Designing Our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications. Edited by Audrey R. Chapman and Mark S. Frankel, 2004. Available through Johns Hopkins University Press. 
- Neuroscience and the Law: Brain, Mind, and the Scales of Justice. Brett Garland, 2004. Available through The Dana Foundation Press .
- I ntegrity in Scientific Research: Five Video Vignettes . Produced by Amram Nowak Associates, Inc., with assistance from the Medical College of Georgia, for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1996.