February 2019 From the IFAC President

Introducing the Code of Conduct

Dear IFAC Friends and Colleagues,


IEEE has one. The Royal Statistical Society has
one. And now, IFAC has one, too. A full profes-
sional  Italian  Barista  coffee  machine?  Unfor-
tunately, no (although – we don’t know about
IEEE or RSS). An intelligent robot that can clean
our desks, handle all tasks and work through
our to do lists? We wish. No, I am talking about
a Code of Conduct. While at first sight, a Code
of Conduct might seem less attractive than cof-
fee machines or robots, a Code of Conduct, or
in short CoC, is way more important. And it was
about time that IFAC got one, too.


IFAC is a leading professional non-profit soci-
ety  in  the  field  of  automatic  control.  Towards
the control community, this implies an obliga-
tion to act according to ethical and professional
standards. And even more so, to provide rules
to  which  individuals  acting  on  behalf  of  IFAC
can refer to.


Therefore,  we  have  been  developing  an  IFAC
Code of Conduct over the past year, and Coun-
cil has voted for its installation in Florianópolis,
in  September  2018.  The  document  is  printed
alongside  this  column,  and  can  also  be  ac-
cessed via the following link:
https://www.ifac-control.org/about/ifac-code-of-conduct


The IFAC Code of Conduct is based on the Vi-
sion and Mission of IFAC together with IFAC’s
values:
•  Honesty and Integrity,
•  Excellence and Relevance,
•  Sustainability,
•  Diversity and Inclusivity.


In agreement with and in implementation of the
above IFAC values, the IFAC Code of Conduct
summarizes  the  commitment  and  obligation
of  IFAC  to  maintain  ethical  and  professional
standards  in  its  academic  and  industrial  ac-
tivities.  Starting  immediately,  all  IFAC  volun-
teers  are  bound  to  the  CoC  starting  with  the
TC  members  and  going  to  the  IFAC  officers,
including  the  editorial  board  members  of  our
journals  as  well  as  the  organizing  committee
members of our many IFAC technical events.
IFAC  stands  firm  in  its  determination  to  pre-
vent unjust behavior or treatment, discrimina-
tion  and  harassment,  scientifically  dishonest
practices, plagiarism and falsification, corrup-
tion  or  fraud,  to  name  just  a  few  points  from
the  CoC.  We  want  to  encourage  everyone  to
step up or speak up whenever we see behavior
that is not aligned with these ethical standards.
We think the spirit of IFAC is one of coopera-
tion and collaboration, inclusivity and diversity,
honesty and integrity. And with this spirit, we
look forward to this new year 2019 and to the
future of IFAC!


I also want to take this opportunity to wish all
the readers of this column all the best for 2019,
many great coffees, clean desks and email in-
boxes, exciting conversations, and fascinating
encounters. I hope you all had a great start into
2019  already.  Let’s  all  push  forward  together,
in  a  collaborative  and  cooperative  fashion,  in
the many research directions within automatic
control and all its application areas, to meet the
societal challenges of tomorrow.


With warm regards from snowy Stuttgart,
Frank Allgöwer

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