Frances Houle and Michael Marder photos

APS Sharpens Focus on Ethical Conduct in Physics

The APS Council adopted comprehensive guidelines for scientific integrity and professional conduct in April 2019. But for much of its history, physics had no formal standards of ethical behavior. Read more

APS News: Impressions from the APS Division of Nuclear Physics Fall Meeting

Letters to the Editor: Sexual Harassment in Physics

Letters to the Editor: Harassment in Physics

We are all complicit in harassment and abuse, Nature, World View, October 1, 2019.

‘Pass the Harasser’ Is Higher Ed’s Worst-Kept Secret. How Can Colleges Stop Doing It?, By Sarah Brown and Katherine Mangan, June 27, 2019

Training Materials

Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science
The Online Ethics Center (OEC) is a resource maintained by the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Ethics Education Library
The Ethics Education Library is a collection of resources for scholars and university administrators interested in developing ethics training and instruction programs for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.

Need to Report an Ethics Concern to APS? You may choose any one of the following reporting channels:

All persons filing a complaint using our confidential, easy-to-use reporting options should be prepared to check back with the channel to respond to any follow up questions about their report. Be sure to include a complete description (who, what, where, when) of the conduct experienced or incident that is the basis of the report.

If you report anonymously, we may be limited in our ability to respond, meet your desired resolution and/or keep you updated on the status of your complaint.

Video: A quick overview of key recommendations suggested by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in its 2018 report format_pdf.

Case Studies for Discussions in Physics

APS Ethics Case Studies
The APS Ethics Case Studies are a series of case studies on ethical issues that can arise in the course of doing physics research. To submit an ethics case studies, add one of the topics (listed below) as an email subject and send it to

Topics include:

  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Data Acquisition
  • Educational Concerns
  • Health and Safety
  • Human Subjects Research
  • Issues of Bias
  • Mentoring
  • Publication Practices
  • Responsible Conduct of Research

Quick Links

APS Revocation Policy
All members of the APS are expected to meet standards of professional scientific integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify candidates from consideration for Fellowship, Awards and Prizes, or consideration for official positions.

APS Guidelines on Ethics
As citizens of the global community of science, physicists share responsibility for its welfare. The success of the scientific enterprise rests upon two ethical pillars. The first of them is the obligation to tell the truth. The second is the obligation to treat people well.

APS Professional Conduct Disclosure Form
Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Official leadership positions and APS Honors are granted at the discretion of the Society.

APS Ethics Committee
The Ethics Committee was established as a Joint Committee of the APS Board and Council in 2018 to oversee the implementation of ethics policies for APS, to regularly review and update the community on ethics best practices, and to organize events and materials related to ethics education.

Societies Consortium logo