Professionalism and Ethics in Chemistry*

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This essay offers a preliminary philosophy of chemistry as a profession focusing on professional ethics. First, I look at how well chemistry fits the model of a liberal profession. I then explore the relationship between epistemology and ethics. The relationship between chemistry and society is discussed in the context of the two-dimensional classification of research developed by Donald Stokes in his book Pasteur's Quadrant. Finally, I raise the questions of an appropriate moral ideal for chemistry and the ethical conflicts that can occur when chemists simultaneously fulfill more than one role.

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