Code of Conduct

The field of evolutionary biology is at its best when all of its members are supported by positive, safe, and healthy work environments. The following Code of Conduct is intended to foster such an environment. This Code of Conduct will apply to the participants of this meeting at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in January 2020. Registration for the meeting is an agreement to abide by this Code of Conduct.


Code of Conduct for ASN 2020

The American Society of Naturalists meetings are intended to foster the exchange of scientific ideas, providing participants with an opportunity to present research findings, establish/renew collaborations, recruit people to their laboratories, and learn, teach, and network with an international community of evolutionary biologists. The American Society of Naturalists (ASN) is committed to creating an environment where everyone can participate without harassment, discrimination, or violence of any kind. All meeting participants must be treated with respect and consideration.

Many different types of inappropriate behaviors, whether written, verbal, or physical, can affect the personal and professional well-being of scientists in the workplace, especially when people misuse their positions of power and influence. Research confirms that these behaviors have highest impact on women and underrepresented demographic groups. In fact, harassment and other inappropriate behaviors in academic environments with low diversity are especially damaging, because the lack of established support networks can lead to feelings of vulnerability and professional isolation.

Examples of inappropriate behavior include, but are not limited to:

Exclusion – to block someone’s access to resources or opportunities, or to make someone feel unwelcome, based on their identity or affiliation with a particular group 

Belittling – to treat someone in a condescending manner or with the assumption of incompetence 

Discrimination – to make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of someone based on their identity or affiliation with a particular group 

Bullying / Intimidation – to threaten, frighten, humiliate, or intimidate someone with abusive words or actions 

Harassment – to use words or actions that are unwanted, unwelcome, demeaning, degrading, abusive, or offensive, and to persist in such actions despite resistance, protest, or rebuke by the recipient(s) of those actions  

Assault – to make unwelcome physical contact with anyone in any manner, including actual bodily harm and any form of unwanted sexual contact; to threaten bodily harm with an apparent present ability to cause harm

Inappropriate actions toward any participant (attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider, organizer, or meeting guest) will not be tolerated. Harassment presented in a joking manner is still harassment and constitutes unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting harassment is also unacceptable, as is reporting an incident in bad faith.

For this meeting, specially designated members of the ASN will be identified with unique conference badges, so that those wishing to confidentially report an incident can do so immediately. Incidents of harassment and discrimination are taken extremely seriously. Confidentiality will be maintained unless disclosure is legally required.

The meeting organizers reserve the right to enforce this code of conduct in any manner deemed appropriate. Anyone violating the code of conduct may be: (a) asked to stop, (b) expelled from the meeting (without refund), and/or (c) prohibited from attending future meetings.

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