NASW Operating Principles

One of the principal aims of the National Association of Science Writers, according to its constitution, is to “foster the dissemination of accurate information regarding science and technology in keeping with the highest standards of journalism.” This code of conduct is intended to guide the behavior of NASW’s officers and members in meeting those standards.

NASW or its members, when invoking their NASW membership, must act in accordance with the organization’s aims, in keeping with the highest standards of journalism.

NASW does not take political positions, endorse candidates, support specific legislation, or allow the use of its name in connection with any political events. NASW officers and members may not invoke NASW’s name, or their membership, in the course of personal political activities.

NASW may, however, take a position on issues related to journalism, freedom of information, and other public policy debates that relate to the members’ ability to act in keeping with the highest standards of journalism. Such actions will be determined by the Board of Directors.

NASW may not undertake fundraising activities without the explicit permission of the Board of Directors. Members may not use NASW’s name in connection with any personal fundraising activities.

NASW members may not identify themselves as members of the organization in connection with any writing that takes a political position, endorses a candidate, supports specific legislation, or is related to fundraising activities or the promotion of a product, policy, or company or other organization.

NASW members may not speak for the organization without the authority of the Board of Directors.

NASW members shall conduct all business and interactions without prejudice to race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or professional status.

NASW members will at all times treat colleagues with professional respect, fairness and honesty.

NASW may not accept funding from organizations or individuals whose aims might conflict with NASW’s aims, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Board of Directors, with the exception of:

  • Money paid to NASW for posting job opportunities on the NASW job board. The Board of Directors reserve the right to reject ads deemed unacceptable. 
  • Other situations approved on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Directors.

NASW’s Board of Directors may choose to censure or expel members who violate this code of conduct in accordance with the Bylaws of NASW.

Any disputes that arise concerning this code of conduct will be resolved by a decision of the Board of Directors.

Updated and adopted by the Board on October 17, 2014