The Science Writers and Communicators of Canada encourages and supports the ethical conduct of its members in their individual professional roles and in their work on behalf of the organization.
The following values and principles are intended to help guide members in their work as science writers and communicators:
- Accuracy - At all times, members should convey scientific information as accurately as possible and aim for clarity when presenting complex material to a non-specialist audience.
- Factual Integrity - Recognizing that even accurate statements can mislead when taken out of context, members should strive to ensure that the overall intention and impact of their work is to enhance the public understanding of science and its implications. Special care should be taken to avoid the appearance of legitimizing sources of misinformation.
- Originality - It is unacceptable for professional writers and communicators to plagiarize the work of others. Members are encouraged to be creative and original in their presentation of scientific information and to include appropriate credit when referencing the work of others.
- Fairness - In the course of their work, members should exhibit fairness and respect toward their subjects, sources and audiences and exercise judgement and sensitivity when dealing with personal or potentially harmful information. When possible, members should seek to include underrepresented voices in their work in the interest of making science accessible to all.
- Transparency - Science writers and communicators should identify themselves to their sources and to their audiences and be open about the purpose of their work and who is paying for it. In specific cases where anonymity is required in researching or reporting, the reason for the anonymity should be made clear in the presentation of the resulting information.
The following values and principles are intended to help guide members in their work on behalf of the association:
- Freedom of Expression - The SWCC supports the democratic principles that protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press as articulated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Access to Information - The SWCC supports broad access to publicly funded research and to scientists working in public institutions in Canada.
- Inclusion - The SWCC provides a safe and respectful environment for its members and supports equity, diversity and inclusion in its activities, public events and online media.
- Mentorship and Community-building - The SWCC strives to provide a professional community for its members and to help early career science writers and communicators develop skills and opportunities with the long term goal of improving the state of the profession in Canada.
- Independence - The SWCC operates independently of outside organizations, entities and interests. Members should declare potential conflicts of interest when working for or contributing to the SWCC. The board of directors should act to manage conflicts of interest when they arise.
Download our Statement of Values in PDF here: Statement of Values