The ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics (PWGSE) is concerned with a wide range of issues, both ‘internal’ (within the scientific community) and ‘external’ (relations between science and society). Since ethical considerations have been an essential component in the consolidation of a united Europe, and also in the creation of ALLEA, the PWGSE was established to bring together experts from academies across Europe and provide them with a platform for continuous debate on research ethics and research integrity.

Programme of action

The PWGSE has been extending its capacities and activities during recent years, in order to adequately fulfil its mission of collective deliberation on topics such as research integrity, ethics education in science and research training, ethics of scientific policy advice, trust in science, scientific misconduct, and plagiarism, among others.

Further issues recently addressed include dual use, ethical aspects of risks, science and human rights, support for higher education and research in Palestine, research on human embryos, synthetic biology, nanotechnologies etc. Additionally, the group provides expertise for the Horizon 2020 funded ENERI project (European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity), which aims to train experts in ethics related issues and to harmonise research integrity infrastructures across Europe.

The PWGSE meets regularly and has also convened thematic meetings in wider settings, typically in partnerships with other relevant organisations such as the European Commission, the European Science Foundation (ESF), the International Council for Science (ICSU), or UNESCO, among many others. The members of the PWGSE drew on its extensive network of experts and institutions for the successful execution of the revision process.

Current and past topics 

  • Research Integrity
  • Plagiarism
  • Ethics Education as part of research training
  • Ethics of scientific policy advice
  • Emerging issues: synthetic biology, nanotechnology, robotics a.o.
  • Role of Ethics Committees
  • Support for Higher Education and research in Palestine
  • Science and Human Rights
  • Trust in science


Members of the Permanent Working Group Science and Ethics

  • Göran Hermerén (Chair) – Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities
  • Anna Benaki – Academy of Athens (Greece)
  • Anne Fagot-Largeault – Académie des Sciences (France)
  • László Fésüs – Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Maura Hiney – Royal Irish Academy
  • Bertil Emrah Oder – The Science Academy (Turkey)
  • Deborah Oughton – Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
  • Roger Pfister – The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
  • Pere Puigdomenech – Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona (Spain)
  • Michael Quante – Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
  • Zbigniew Szawarski – Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Els Van Damme – Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Belgium
  • Martin van Hees – Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Krista Varantola – Council of Finnish Academies
  • Raivo Uibo – Estonian Academy of Sciences

Workshop on Ethical Aspects of Open Access

The PWGSE organised the workshop “Ethical Aspects of Open Access: A Windy Road” hosted by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB) at the Academy Palace in Brussels on 1 February 2018.

Please find the workshop report presentations of the day here. 

To check the concept and programme of the event, please click here.


Selected Publications


The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2017)







PWGSE Private sponsoringPrivate sponsoring in the science enterprise, trust in science and academic freedom (2015)






Education a léthique des sciences CoverEthics Education in Science and its French translation, Education à l’éthique des sciences (2013)





Front-EuropeanCoCResIntThe European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity (2011)






PWGSE Research integrityBackground Paper on The European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity







Recent Meetings

May 2019
Permanent Working Group meeting, TBA

June 2017
Permanent Working Group meeting, Stockholm

October 2016
Permanent Working Group meeting, Oslo

February 2016
Permanent Working Group meeting, Stockholm

March 2015
Permanent Working Group meeting, Berlin

November 2014
Joint meeting of the Permanent Workings Groups Science & Ethics and Intellectual Property Rights, Bavarian Academy, Munich

October 2014
Permanent Working Group meeting, The Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, Barcelona

April 2014
Permanent Working Group meeting, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest