Welcome at IC Ethics!

Upcoming events

Annual meeting

REMINDER! On Wednesday, the 29th of September, IC Ethics will arrange its second Annual meeting, and all IC Ethics members are invited to join! Among others, we will present our ongoing work and plans for the next year, as well as give you an update on the work towards a new museum definition. Also, we will have a presentation of next year’s happenings at ICOMs General Assembly in Prague in August 2022.

Please register for the Annual Meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvd-mgqD0rGtVBw7tRjJq27hgR1vAVp4lT and join us on the 29th!

Joint online conference IC Ethics // IC MEMO


Thursday, 30th of September 20218 AM EDT New York  // 2 PM CEST Paris  // 10 PM JST Kyoto3 hours

Political pressure on museums is leaving museum professionals with many ethical challenges to consider. 

How far should museums stretch or compromise when politics or politicians in charge demand approaches which are not sound in light of professional standards? 

What about the personal integrity of museum professionals towards their field and social responsibility? Who can they turn to for help, if needed?

In short: Where is the line drawn for the museum professional when torn between partisan political interests and the profession’s standards? How can the museum community protect its standards and support its members?

Note: This year’s joint online conference is a starting point, or teaser, for a larger conference to be held within the context of ICOM Prague 2022 (August 20-28) and in line with its topic, “The Power of Museums.” IC Ethics and IC MEMO plan to further explore the theme, under the working title, “Narratives of Memory and the Power of the Museum in Shaping Identity: Who holds the key?

– further info and a detailed program will follow soon!

Nordic Aspects of Collecting COVID-19

WEDNESDAY 13. October 2021 at 11:00 UTC + 02 – 12.30 UTC + 02

TAKO Network for Collection Management and Contemporary Documenting in Finland presents a webinar on collecting COVID-19 focusing on Finland and Denmark with comparisons to Norway, Iceland and Sweden. The webinar is part of the project ‘Collecting with Care, Ethics in Museum Work’ by the International Council of Museums, International Committee for Collecting and International Committee on Ethical Dilemmas.The webinar is chaired by MA/PhD Ulla Salmela, Director of Development in the Finnish Heritage Agency. The keynote speakers are MA Curator Maria Ollila from the National Museum of Finland and MA Archivist Bente Jensen from Aalborg City Archives in Denmark. They will shed a light on different aspects on collecting the pandemic in the Nordic Countries as well as ethical viewpoints. After the keynotes, there will be time for discussion and questions. Chat will be open during the webinar.

12.00: TAKO Welcomes you to the webinar! by Johanna Jakomaa, Chair, TAKO Network
12.05: COMCOL’s opening words by Alexandra Bounia, Secretary, COMCOL ICOM International Committee for Collecting
12.10: Maria Ollila
Collecting the Covid-19s Effect on Society – How Did the Critical Sectors Act in Finland?
Maria Ollila will discuss how the National Museum of Finland together with the Picture Collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency documented and explored the action of the sectors critical to the functioning of the society, such as the Covid-19 healthcare and parliamentary work, during the time of crisis and what challenges they faced.
12.40: Bente Jensen
The unspoken ethics
Corona related Collection in the Nordic Countries
An overview and discussion of the Danish museums and archives on the documentation of covid-19 crisis based on a recent national survey on the theme with an outlook to the other Nordic countries. What did we learn? – ethical, legal, and organizational challenges performing rapid response collection during a pandemic.
13.10: Discussion
13.30: The end of the webinar


Call for Moderators

Are you a museum professional interested in or dealing with an ethical dilemma? Would you like to discuss this with your colleagues? We invite you to be a moderator of our virtual open platform dicussions!

Please find all information below or on our IC Ethics Meeting Room page.

(French and Spanish versions are coming soon!)

More information about the IC Ethics Meeting Room series, following and previous events as well as the recordings of the introductions >> on this page.

current challenges for the management and leadership of ICOM International

IC Ethics, among many other International and National Committees of ICOM, Regional Alliances, Standing Committees and Working Groups is fully supportive of ICOMs recent work advancing transparency, inclusion, diversity, democracy and sustainability, and we encourage all ICOM members and the leadership to continue and strengthen the work.

Following worrying developments, IC Ethics issued an open letter to the President, Executive Board and General Director of ICOM in June 2020:

Information on current developments, the correspondence between the committees and the leadership, as well as a large number of documents are now gradually available to all members of ICOM in the members area https://icom-museum.force.com/.

About IC Ethics

As dedicated museum professionals and ICOM members, we see the need for a broad and open debate about ethical dilemmas. With the new importance of museums as societal actors, ethical dilemmas are among the most relevant working fields. We believe that IC Ethics will be an essential and important addition to the International Committees of ICOM.

As an International Committee, it will be an open forum on ethical dilemmas for all museum professionals, a forum for reflection, discussion and sharing, thereby helping museum professionals to make more informed choices.

IC Ethics has been officially founded in Kyoto/Japan on Tuesday, 4th of September 2019, after being approved by the ICOMs Executive Board in July 2019. The initiators have received 171 Letters of Support from 38 different countries and four continents. In addition, five National Committees have supported the initiative with written statements.

Find out more about:

>>> Our mission (English, Français, Español) and rules (English)

>>> Chair, Board Members and Observer 2019-2022

>>> Our activities

>>> How to become a member

>>> How to connect