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Several months ago, the President of the International Organization of Medical Physics (IOMP) asked me to write a Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers. His request subsequently endorsed by the IOMP Council, reflected concerns about the intrusion of political, cultural, and religious pressures on the research of scientists and engineers, and on the dissemination of the results of research to governmental policy-makers and to the public at large. The Bill of Rights reproduced below responds to the IOMP President's request, and has been approved by the IOMP Council and by the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering. The Bill of Rights is currently under consideration by the International Council for Science.
A few months ago, the IOMP Publications Committee, which I chair, approved an editorial on, “A Concern about Plagiarism” that has been published in many of the world's medical physics journals, including the Journal of Medical Physics. The IOMP Publications Committee intends to disseminate the present editorial in which the Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers is embedded, to the same journals for potential publication. The Publications Committee is composed of the editors of all of the world's medical physics journals, so a decision to disseminate the editorial by the Publications Committee is in effect a proposal to the editors to publish the editorial on ‘Bill of rights for scientists and engineers.
A scientist or engineer (S/E) uses understanding, insight, and ingenuity to add to existing knowledge and to create new technologies that benefit both individuals and societies at large. In pursuing these goals, an S/E must be free to theorize and experiment, unimpeded by political pressures, religious dogma, or fear of reprisal. Preservation of this freedom is the purpose of the Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers. The Bill of Rights is consistent with the Statement on the Universality of Science of the International Council for Science (ICSU).