The EASST Code of Ethics is designed to be a useful guide for EASST members as they carry out their ethical responsibilities. In particular, the EASST Code of Ethics contains both educational and aspirational elements. This document is designed to anticipate and accommodate ethical challenges that may arise by describing the authority and responsibilities of the EASST Ethics Committee (ECo) and its general operating rules. The EASST Code of Ethics consists of one guiding principle and nine points that actualise it.

The EASST Code of Ethics is not meant to provide specific guidance on every situation where ECo might need to answer the question, “What is the right thing to do?” Instead, it is a principle-based guidance meant to help the EASST community to think about ethical concerns, to promote mutual support, and encourage everybody to speak up if circumstances so require by contacting ECo either via email or in person.

EASST Ethics Committee

The EASST Ethics Committee (ECo) can be contacted from January 2024 onward.

Internal members:

Dr. Michela Cozza (Mälardalen University)
Dr. Brice Laurent (Mines ParisTech)

External members:

Prof. Noortje Marres (University of Warwick)
Prof. Huub Dijstelbloem (University of Amsterdam)

Contact the ECo: eco(a)

Guiding Principle

The EASST community should be a respectful, generous, open, safe, and welcoming space, where everyone is treated in a helpful, considerate, and supportive manner. As a community we listen to each other and take seriously our actions and how they affect other people.

From this a number of principles follow:

  1. The EASST community does not primarily address breaches of the guiding principle through exclusion and punishment, but through learning, remediation, and growth.
  2. EASST members should continuously consider how we formulate criticism; our politics of citation; and how we praise or ignore certain kinds of work. EASST members should reflect upon their own responsibility for creating a constructive academic environment for one another.
  3. EASST events are a space in which everyone is free to speak their mind, including when it comes to issues that might be uncomfortable or cause disagreement, within the frame of the EASST guiding principle.
  4. EASST members should always be attentive to how power differentials affect people and influence their willingness and ability to speak their mind.
  5. People who consider themselves mistreated should feel welcome to speak up about their experience and raise concerns they may have. The entire EASST community should listen genuinely and respectfully to such complaints, acknowledging that situations are often complex and with conflicting interpretations.
  6. EASST cannot act as a legal entity, but encourages people who have been victim of abuse, harassment and other illegal and unwanted behaviours to find legal support through the rules of the institution(s) and country in which they occurred.
  7. EASST Council appoints an Ethics Committee (ECo) of four people with a Chair, which confidentially handles breaches of the EASST guiding principle on an individual basis. The committee makes an Annual General Report to serve as a basis for reflections within the community. Information handled by the ECo will be treated confidentially and will be anonymized and generalized before it is included in the Annual General Report.
  8. EASST supports events at the biennial and joint conferences to promote reflexive practice based on the Code of Ethics guiding principle.
  9. A confidential advisory team is constituted in collaboration with the local organising committee of each EASST conference, in order to offer prompt support to participants who might need it. The confidential advisory team includes two EASST members of ECo and two members of the hosting institution. Their names and contacts are made available on the conference webpage as well as on the EASST webpage.

Part I – Authority and Responsibility

Authority of ECo

ECo is an independent authority besides the EASST Council and it is authorized to:
  1. Publicise the Code of Ethics among the members of EASST and other interested persons.
  2. Educate the members of EASST and other interested persons concerning the ethical obligation of STS scholars under the Code of Ethics through articles, seminars, lectures, or other materials and initiatives.
  3. Receive information from members of EASST about experiences of breaches of the guiding principle and help such members find a resolution. The ECo has discretion to work with members within the framework set up by the guiding principle and the nine points following from it.
  4. Make changes in the Code of Ethic and the policy and procedures based on feedback from the EASST community; such changes are discussed with and approved by the EASST Council.
  5. Provide advice regarding the application of the Code of Ethics in conjunction with events supported, funded or co-funded by EASST.
  6. Support the intention of the community to deal with breaches of the Code of Ethics through learning, remediation, and growth.

Responsibility of the Chair of ECo

  1. Work with the other members of ECo in the administration of items (a)-(d) above (see section “Authority of ECo”).
  2. Appoint a Co-Chair.
  3. Convene the annual meeting with ECo members.
  4. Collaborate with the other members of ECo in preparing the ECo Annual General Report.
  5. Report to the EASST Council about ECo activities whenever requested.

Part II - Operating Rules of EASST ECo

1. Membership

  1. Members of ECo are two (2) EASST Council members elected by the same EASST Council and they shall be appointed until the end of their term of office as EASST Council members. Two (2) co-opted members are invited by the EASST Council to join ECo. If a member of ECo resigns from ECo or from the EASST Council before the end of his/her/their term, a new member of ECo shall be appointed by the EASST Council.
  2. In conjunction with the preparation of the joint conference, one (1) member of the 4S Council is invited to join the confidential advisory team and act on its behalf until the end of the conference.
  3. Name and contacts of the members of ECo are published on the EASST webpage and can be used to notify any specific situation that requires the attention of ECo.

2. Meetings

A regular meeting of ECo is held at the biennial and joint conferences. Additional meetings may be held, upon the call of the Chair or the Co-Chair, from time to time electronically or in person.

3. Reception of information from EASST members

Members of EASST who have input to the EASST community on how to strengthen our caring responsibility towards each other, or members who have experienced misalignment with the guiding principle of EASST can write to the ECo with their input, suggestions, and concerns.
The ECo has discretion to decide how and whether such information is relevant for its work and also how to proceed with finding solutions.

4. Annual General Report

  1. Personal data are handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulation.
  2. All written communications received by ECo regarding specific situations notified by members of the EASST community are erased forever upon completion of the Annual General Report and its publication on the EASST webpage.