EGU23-7063, updated on 25 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The evolving Code of Conduct at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy: a participatory process to combine law compliance and geoethics principles

Giuliana Rubbia, Daniele Bravi, Valeria De Paola, Sergio Gurrieri, Maria Valeria Intini, and Silvia Peppoloni
Giuliana Rubbia et al.
  • Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Milano, Italy (

According to the current legislation of Italy (e.g., Law No. 165/2001) public organizations must have a code of conduct in place, which specifies and complements the General Code of Conduct for public employees, embedding issues that are typical for the specific context. 

The Authority aimed at disseminating a culture of integrity and legality, the Italian National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC), provided a set of directives over time that specifies key actors and procedures, drafting methods, and fundamental principles that the Code must contain.

In this framework, public research institutes are no exception. At the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy (INGV) an interdisciplinary working group with diverse experiences and profiles has been created and committed to reviewing the current code of conduct and proposing a new one.

The drafting process progressed through a thorough examination of fundamental principles and compliance with laws, on the one hand, and with an in-depth analysis of areas of application in the context of the institute and its activities. 

Once drafted, the first version has been proposed for provisional approval by the Board of Administrators (CdA), and submitted for stakeholder consultation.  INGV personnel commented on the first version, expressed their concerns, and proposed various amendments. These comments have all been addressed, partially or completely accepted, or refused; an updated version has been created and submitted for a further round of approval by the Independent Evaluation Body (OIV), a body assessing the performance, clearness, and integrity of the administrative action.

The values on which the Code is structured refer to four geoethical domains: 1) the individual dimension, which concerns the ethical action of each individual recipient of the Code in the context of his/her specific work activity; 2) the interpersonal/professional dimension, which refers to relationships with colleagues; 3) the societal dimension, which includes relations with all the various components of society; and d) the relationship with the natural environment, which includes actions aimed at minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and promoting eco-sustainable behaviors. Moreover, the code benefits from the principles expressed in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and the European Charter for Researchers.

At present, the Code contains both ethical and legal norms, i.e. both principles underpinning appropriate behaviors and rules, which if violated give rise to sanctions.  Code recipients are called to observe them in order to ensure workplace well-being, quality of research and services, prevention of corruption phenomena, compliance with the constitutional duties of diligence, loyalty, impartiality, care of the public interest, and achievement of INGV institutional goals. The Code will be updated according to the structure of a new General Code of Conduct to be issued by the Italian Government.

How to cite: Rubbia, G., Bravi, D., De Paola, V., Gurrieri, S., Intini, M. V., and Peppoloni, S.: The evolving Code of Conduct at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy: a participatory process to combine law compliance and geoethics principles, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7063,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

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