This voluntary Code of Conduct provides European Member States, employers, research funders, researchers and more generally all individuals and civil society organisations involved or interested in nanosciences and nanotechnologies (N&N) research with guidelines favouring a responsible and open approach to N&N research in the European Community (EC). It is intended to be complementary to existing regulations.
The code provides encouragement to all stakeholders to act responsibly and cooperate with each other. It also aims to improve the implementation of current regulation, and assist in coping with scientific uncertainties relating to N&N.
The code is set out according to a number of key principles, as follows:
- Meaning: Comprehensibility of research activities to the public;
- Sustainability: Undertaking of safe, ethical research which contributes to sustainable development;
- Precaution: Conducting research in accordance with the precautionary principle, anticipating potential EHS impacts and taking due precautions;
- Inclusiveness: Guidance of research activities by the principles of openness, transparency and respect for the legitimate right of access to information;
- Excellence: Undertaking research which meets the best scientific standards, including those underpinning integrity of research and relating to Good Laboratory Practices;
- Innovation: Governance of research to encourage maximum creativity, flexibility and planning ability for innovation and growth;
- Accountability: Researchers remaining accountable for the social, environmental and human health impacts that their research may impose on present and future generations.