AGU Town Hall Meeting on Harassment

ESWN is co-sponsoring a town hall meeting on harassment at the 2015 Fall AGU Meeting.

Forward Focused Ethics – What is the Role of Scientific Societies in Responding to Harassment and Other Workplace Climate Issues?

Wednesday, 16 December, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Moscone South, Gateway Ballroom, Room 102

Abstract: Recent high-profile events in the news have raised awareness of the problem of harassment (including sexual harassment) in science and academia. These events have highlighted the need for support mechanisms for the targets of inappropriate behavior, as well as the need for a suitable institutional response to deter continued misconduct. 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. Another problem identified by research on harassment is the scarcity of well-defined resources for reporting and responding to inappropriate behavior, and the perceived risk that the victims’ careers may be jeopardized if they speak out. This session will provide information on lessons learned from recent research on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the scientific community, and discuss examples of institutional and individual responses. This will be an interactive session, and will seek input from participants on suggested actions for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and other scientific societies in helping to address and correct these issues. This town hall session is jointly sponsored by the AGU, the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), and the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN).

Confirmed Speakers- Leaders of the sponsoring societies (Erika Marín-Spiotta from ESWN) plus:

Dr. Christine Williams, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Williams is an expert on gender, race and class inequality in the workplace and has done extensive research on sexual harrassment.

Dr. Meg Urry, Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chair of the Department of Physics at Yale University, Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics and President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Dr. Mary Anne Holmes, Professor of Practice in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and author “Women in the Geosciences – Practical, Positive Practices towards Parity.”


Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 9.51.36 AMlogo horizontalAWG logo