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Home arrow Education arrow Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science


Forensic science values objectivity, reliability, open communication, and consistency, yet universal standards regarding accreditation, certification, and code of ethics do not yet exist in the professional culture. Ethical issues are not necessarily considered something that forensic scientists face on a daily basis, yet every decision made has broader implications so ethics must be considered. When exploring the pressures that lead to unethical behavior and the type of misconduct that occurs, it is important to note that many examples of misconduct do not occur because someone is inherently unethical, more so because they did not choose the best course of action for the particular situation. Despite the frequency of misconduct being low in science, there are higher stakes, so scientists need to function with the highest level of integrity. Conflicts will arise, but it is up to individuals to be aware of guiding principles and the resources available to help navigate professional conflicts to lessen the chance for personal and professional consequences.

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