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Position Statements

Position Statements

1. Inclusiveness

The President and Council of the Meteoritical Society wish to make known to the membership that any form of antisocial behaviour by Society members, or their guests, at events organised by the Society will not be tolerated. The Meteoritical Society has therefore adopted the following Guidelines:

The Meteoritical Society is a professional Society that prides itself on its inclusive nature. It welcomes all who are interested in understanding planetary and stellar formation and evolution through collection and study of extraterrestrial materials, no matter what their background.

Meetings of the Society are open to academics, students and meteorite collectors, plus their guests, on payment of the required registration fee. As a condition of participation in Society meetings (including associated workshops and social events), attendees are expected to maintain appropriate standards of behaviour. No form of intimidation or harassment of individuals is acceptable, irrespective of their gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or nationality.

If any member of the Society, or their guests, is subject to intimidation or harassment at a Society meeting, they should make a complaint to the President of the Society or other Society officer. The Society has a specific obligation to address any complaint submitted.

If any member of the Society is found to be in breach of these guidelines, they will be subject to the conditions of Article 1.2 of the by-laws, and may be expelled from the Society.

2. Collection, Trade and Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials

The Constitution of the Meteoritical Society states that "The purpose of this Society shall be to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials...". These goals are best served when meteorites are collected, curated and studied in an ethical manner. The Meteoritical Society has therefore adopted the following Guidelines:

Members who recover, collect, trade, display or do research on meteorites should comply with all applicable national, state and local laws and regulations, international conventions and agreements, institutional and professional rules and codes, and rules of best scientific practice.

The Society urges those who recover meteorites to certify their meteorites by obtaining an "official" name from the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society and to satisfy the requirements for registration of new meteorites.

Collectors, curators and researchers should not acquire or study meteorites if they know that these samples were recovered or acquired illegally.

Researchers should not publish on new meteorites until the meteorites have been certified by the Nomenclature Committee.

The Society recommends that meteorite collectors co-operate with local government and institutional authorities to publicise the importance of meteorites. The Society encourages donation of representative samples of meteorites to institutions in places where new meteorites are found, in order to promote education and research in meteoritics. Note, though, that such donations do not replace the requirement for the deposit of a type specimen in a recognised meteorite collection.

Any member found to be in deliberate and systematic default of these guidelines will be subject to the conditions of Article 1.2 of the by-laws, and may be expelled from the Society.

3. Scientific Integrity

Scientific integrity is one of the most important aspects of any research project, and it is the responsibility of all researchers to ensure that their work is carried out to the highest of standards. There are several national and international websites where codes of conduct for scientists are published, particularly for researchers using public funds. For example:

Europe: http://www.scienceeurope.org/uploads/PublicDocumentsAndSpeeches/SCsPublicDocs/Science%20_Europe_Integrity_Survey_Report_July_2016_FINAL.pdf

Japan: http://www.scj.go.jp/en/report/code.html

UK: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/researchintegrity/

USA: https://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity

Guidelines have also been defined by professional societies, e.g. the American Geophysical Union: http://ethics.agu.org/files/2013/03/Scientific-Integrity-and-Professional-Ethics.pdf 

It is not the intention of the Meteoritical Society to duplicate these efforts by defining its own Code of Conduct; rather, the Society expects its membership to follow guidelines laid down by national funding agencies for ethical behaviour in research and publication.

The Society has a specific obligation towards ethical practices in meteorite collection, trade and curation; guidelines for which are laid out in an accompanying Position Statement. If any member of the Society is found to be in breach of these guidelines, they will be subject to the conditions of Article 1.2 of the by-laws, and may be expelled from the Society.

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