Illustration of diverse group of people in rows

Why and how science should respect the dignity and rights of all humans

We recently announced the adoption of new ethics guidance for research about human groups. We now provide background and examples to clarify why we developed this guidance and how we will be using it.



  • COVID-19

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has wreaked death and destruction in the country, with wide-ranging impacts on the global world order. This focus highlights the experiences of Ukrainian scientists – at home and abroad – and provides insights into the many impacts of the war, including food insecurity, sanctions, disinformation, cyberwarfare, mental health, and the refugee crisis.

  • Pencils of many different colours

    Lack of diversity, equity and inclusion is harmful both for individual scientists and the scientific enterprise as a whole. The contributions in this collection highlight problems and propose solutions on how to make science more equitable, inclusive and diverse for the benefit of all.

  • Vaccine vials on a pie chart that's uneven

    Equitable distribution of resources to fight COVID-19 is a global challenge. In this collection of research and opinion articles, researchers, public health officials, intellectual property experts, leaders of international organizations, and activists explain how global inequities in COVID-19 vaccine allocation continue fuelling the pandemic, and discuss ways to address these disparities.

Nature Human Behaviour is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • During the Last Ice Age, Neanderthals used a small cave in the Iberian Peninsula to accumulate the crania of large ungulates (bison, aurochs, red deer and rhinoceroses), some associated with small hearths. This seems to have been a symbolic practice.

    • Enrique Baquedano
    • Juan L. Arsuaga
    • Tom Higham
    Article Open Access
  • The authors use large-scale data on urban productivity, innovation and social connectivity, as well as extensive mathematical modelling, and show that power-law urban scaling laws arise out of urban inequalities.

    • Martin Arvidsson
    • Niclas Lovsjö
    • Marc Keuschnigg
    Article Open Access
  • Leveraging multiple datasets (surveys, web search trends and mobility), Huang et al. document how anti-Chinese rhetoric led to blame sentiment and consumer discrimination against Asian American businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Justin T. Huang
    • Masha Krupenkin
    • Julia Lee Cunningham
  • The freedom to research and publish without fear of state retribution is one that many academics take as a given. Unfortunately, this basic freedom is not universal.

  • Two publications have called for the redefinition of statistical significance as 0.005, or justification of the alpha. We argue that these papers expose a vicious cycle: scientists do not adopt recommendations because they are not standard, and they are not standard because few scientists adopt them. We call on journals and preregistration platforms to mandate alpha-level statements.

    • Michał Białek
    • Michal Misiak
    • Martyna Dziekan
  • In Iran, women and men protest day and night for women, life and liberty. The moment has come for the international academic community to take action to remove the obstacles faced by Iran’s scholarly community, and join the call for equality, democracy and human rights.

  • Registration has been proposed as a possible solution to the reproducibility crisis in scientific research. In its more than 20 years of practice in biomedical research, registration has been valuable — but it is still largely limited to clinical trials, and its implementation is still largely inconsistent.

    • Stylianos Serghiou
    • Cathrine Axfors
    • John P. A. Ioannidis
Coronaviruses floating in a city.

COVID-19 and human behaviour

Human behaviour has been critical in shaping the COVID-19 pandemic, and the actions of individuals, groups, nation states and international bodies all have a role to play in curbing its spread. This means that insights from behavioural, social and health sciences are and will continue to be invaluable throughout the course of the pandemic. In this Focus, we bring together original research and expert viewpoints from a broad spectrum of disciplines that provide insight into the causes, impacts, and mitigation of the pandemic, highlighting how research on individual and collective behaviour can contribute to an effective response.


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