Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.2, No.3, 1986. pp. 217253

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The Codification of Statistical Ethics

The international statistical community managed to survive without a code of ethics for its first hundred years. Now, after six years of active discussion and detailed formulation, the International Statistical Institute has published a comprehensive declaration containing an inventory of widely held professional values, a discussion of the ethical and technical conflicts involved in sustaining those values and translating them into statistical work, and guidelines to further reading about such issues. The declaration is neither just a catalogue of unattainable ideals nor a set of rules, but an “educational code” with the aim of elucidating conflicts rather than enunciating on them. The paper rehearses the arguments that led to this new approach to code formulation and traces both the immediate and the earlier background to the process.

Code of ethics; code of practice; declaration on ethics; professional code; professional standards.

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