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Hippocratic Oath for Scientists & Technologists


The Tech For Life founders have drafted and released The Hippocratic Oath for Scientists & Technologists, which is an oath of ethics taken by scientists and technologists. It's aim is to be the defacto oath of a practitioner, especially in the realm of AI, machine learning, physical sciences, and robotics.



In its current form, the oath requires a new scientist or technologist to swear to uphold specific ethical and moral standards. The oath is an expression of technological ethics, establishing several universal principles of science and technology ethics which do not have a guiding singular set of principles of 'do-no-harm' today. These include the principles of non-maleficence, and non-proliferation. Swearing a modified form of the original Hippocratic oath must be a rite of passage for science and technology graduates worldwide, and may one day be a requirement enshrined in legal statutes of various jurisdictions much like the medical profession, such that violations of the oath may carry criminal or other liability beyond the oath's symbolic nature..

Oath of Scientists & Technologists

I swear to all the builders, inventors, philosophers, and artisans that have come before me, ancient and present, who diligently crafted our collective and shared body of scientific discovery, knowledge, and tools, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.

To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make them partner in my livelihood; when they are in need of money to share mine with them; to consider their family as my own, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without prejudice or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own children, the children of my teacher, to indentured pupils who have taken the technologist’s oath, and to those who seek illumination from the darkness of ignorance and the demons of superstition.

I will use science and it’s technologies to help the world and its denizens, especially those that require assistance or protection, according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a technology to directly cause harm or injury when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to anyone knowledge of such capability to cause harm or injury. But I will keep pure and sacred both my knowledge and my practice. I will not use technology, it’s inventions or devices, not even, verily, on sufferers from antiquated vestiges without consent, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.

Into whatsoever field and place of practice I enter, I will enter to help this world and other worlds, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing of living bodies and land, bonded or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my shared exchanges, if it be what should not be published or practiced, I will never divulge, share, contribute, or enable such things to be.

Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain forever reputation among all humanity for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.

Last Modified 10-13-2021


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