You are here


Groups reexamine sexual harassment policies for members

Several professional associations seek to make statements against culture of harassment by revoking awards, memberships

Sexual harassment form

Sept. 28, 2018
By Walt Williams

As public pressure builds on institutions of all types to take a harder line against sexual harassment, many professional associations are re-evaluating their policies regarding member behavior. Some are even taking steps to strip awards and memberships from individuals facing provable claims of misconduct.

This month the American Association for the Advancement of Science announced a new process to revoke lifetime fellowships for scientists in cases of proven sexual harassment, scientific misconduct and other breaches of professional ethics. The new policy had its origins in discussions dating back to 2015, but the group has been pressured in recent months to take action following revelations of inappropriate behavior by several prominent researchers, many of which only came to light in the #MeToo era.