Weed science, like most sciences, has distanced itself from social and ethical discourse in theory and practice. This symposium illustrates my point. The 38th meeting of our society is the first time there has been a formal discussion of the ethical aspects of our work. Weed science, we often believe, is value free, as science ought to be. But neither basic nor applied weed science is value free; they are value laden. Operative values include meeting basic human needs through improved food production, promoting the common good through abundant food, improving people's lives through efficient production of safe food, achieving agricultural sustainability, and increasing efficient food and fiber production and farmer profit. Truth pursued via the scientific method is valued and respected, as is belief in the goodness of scientific and technological progress. Most of these values rest on an ethical foundation known as utilitarianism. Most weed scientists and their colleagues in agricultural sciences are utilitarian in that they believe their work should be useful to humans and should promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. What weed scientists believe and stand for and the validity of the ethical foundation of their utilitarian convictions ought to be central subjects of the weed scientist's research and teaching. Ethical reflection does not necessarily imply criticism or a need for reform, but it does demand intellectual clarity and an ability to affirm who we are, what we do, and what we value. Weed scientists should engage in an exchange about the ideas that are the end result of their experiences and discuss the experiences that give shape, substance, and depth to those ideas. In the absence of internal ethical reflection and value clarification, external distortions—including public criticism—will define the moral universe weed scientists must work in. Without embarrassment, weed scientists have to learn to ask about the ethical foundation of their science.