If you need to report an allegation of harassment by an AGU member, author, or individuals in connection with AGU-sponsored activities (publications,conferences or events, and other official duties), it must be submitted in writing either directly to the chair of the Ethics Committee or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AGU recognizes that an allegation of harassment is not itself proof of harassment. Whenever possible AGU will observe strict confidentiality when an allegation is reported until the investigation process has been completed and a ruling by the governing body has been made, at which point confidentiality may or may not be preserved, depending on the case and the findings.
Many societies are working to foster a safe environment for engaging in scientific activities. AGU has pulled together resources for varied audiences and situations related to harassment.
A federal law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in education programs and activities. Sexual harassment of students is illegal. All public and private education institutions that receive any federal funds must comply with Title IX. Title IX protects students from harassment connected to any school-sponsored academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities, regardless of the location. Title IX protects both male and female students from sexual harassment by school employees, other students, or non-employee third parties.
Ethics, Response to Harassment, and Work-Climate Related Issues
AGU is committed to promoting a safe work environment in the Earth and space sciences and ensuring that all AGU program activities are free from discrimination, bias or harassment of any type. The SafeAGU program was designed to help offer support to AGU members who may feel harassed, threatened or unsafe in any way when participating in AGU meetings.
Volunteers at AGU events wearing a green SafeAGU button have been trained to assist you in the event that you’ve experienced harassment or feel unsafe at the meeting. In many cases, these SafeAGU resources are coordinated with other co-sponsoring organizations, for example, SafeOSM at the Ocean Sciences Meeting. Individuals with concerns or requests for assistance on a harassment or other safety/security issue – including situations that may not rise to an ethics complaint -- should address their concerns toEthics@agu.org. Inquiries will be kept confidential.
Types of Harassment
There are many different types of harassment, which can be verbal or physical behaviors. Harassment can affect the personal and professional well-being of scientists when perpetrated by people in positions of power upon those in more vulnerable positions. This professional misconduct often preferentially targets women, although men can also be victims of harassment. Research confirms the extent of harassment in academic environments and in disciplines with low diversity, where the lack of established support networks can lead to feelings of vulnerability and professional insecurity.
Scientific societies, including AGU, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, partnered to host, “Sexual Harassment in the Sciences: A Call to Respond,” a workshop funded by the National Science Foundation. The workshop, held on 9 September 2016, in Washington, D.C., aimed to address the challenge of sexual and gender-based harassment on campus, in the field, and at scientific meetings.