CNRS ethics committee

The CNRS ethics committee (COMETS) is an advisory and independent body whose opinions are public.

The COMETS was created in 1994. It works alongside the CNRS Board of Directors and deals with issues that are referred to the Board of Directors, the Scientific Council or the Director of the CNRS. It also has the possibility of self-referral. Its independence allows it to freely address the ethical scope of major issues involving research.

Missions of the COMETS

The COMETS engages in think-tanks of general ethical questions raised by the practice of research and related to: 1. the social and moral consequences of the development of science and its practical applications, 2. the principles that govern the individual behaviour of researchers and the functioning of the CNRS authoritative bodies, 3. the actual practice of science.

As a result of these thought processes, it is up to the COMETS to formulate recommendations for the definition, justification and application of rules relating to the ethics and deontology of research. The COMETS draws the attention of research and management personnel to the ethical and societal dimensions of any research through its advice and the training actions it conducts or in which it participates. In this way, it aims to clarify the exercise of freedom of research with respect to the duties and responsibilities that these personnel have vis-à-vis the CNRS and more generally society.

COMETS is a body for reflection; it is neither an operational ethics committee responsible for giving accreditation to projects, nor a deontological body dealing with violations of the procedures of scientific integrity. It does not rule on individual cases, whether these be scientific projects or a researcher's violation of ethics.

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