Smithsonian Secretary Establishes Ethics Advisory Board

This week, Acting Smithsonian Secretary Cristian Samper announced the establishment of an internal Ethics Advisory Board to monitor compliance with a new Smithsonian Statement of Values and Code of Ethics that was adopted by the Board of Regents last January. Dr. James B. Gardner, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs, National Museum of American History was named to chair the board. Dr. Gardner is a long-time member of the Policy Board of the National Coalition for History, representing the National Council on Public History.

Dr. Samper charged the Ethics Advisory Board with:

  • Disseminating the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics throughout the SI and to Smithsonian volunteers, advisory boards, and the public;
  • Examining existing SI policies and directives related to the Statement and Code and making recommendations for either updating current policies and directives or developing new policies, guidelines, and directives; and,
  • Examining ethical “best practices” from other professional organizations pertaining to the sciences, arts, humanities, and education, as well as the museum field to learn if there are necessary revisions to the current Statement of Values and Code of Ethics that should be recommended to the Secretary and the Board of Regents.