Creating an ethics policy for a large, diverse geosciences organization is a challenge, especially in the midst of the current contentious dialogue in the media related to such issues as climate change, sustaining natural resources, and responding to natural hazards. In 2011, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) took on this challenge, creating an Ethics Task Force to update their ethics policies to better support their new Strategic Plan and respond to the changing scientific research environment. Dialogue with AGU members and others during the course of creating the new policy unveiled some of the following issues to be addressed. Scientific results and individual scientists are coming under intense political and public scrutiny, with the efficacy of the science being questioned. In some cases, scientists are asked to take sides and/or provide opinions on issues beyond their research, impacting their objectivity. Pressure related to competition for funding and the need to publish high quality and quantities of papers has led to recent high profile plagiarism, data fabrication, and conflict of interest cases. The complexities of a continuously advancing digital environment for conducting, reviewing, and publishing science has raised concerns over the ease of plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, inappropriate peer review, and the need for better accessibility of data and methods. Finally, students and scientists need consistent education and encouragement on the importance of ethics and integrity in scientific research. The new AGU Scientific Integrity and Ethics Policy tries to address these issues and provides an inspirational code of conduct to encourage a responsible, positive, open, and honest scientific research environment.