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Astro2020 APC White Paper: Findings & Recommendations: AAS Committee on Status of Women in Astronomy: Towards Eliminating Harassment in Astronomy

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Nicolle Zellner, JoEllen McBride, Nancy Morrison, Alice Olmstead, Maria Patterson, Gregory Rudnick, Aparna Venkatesan, Heather Flewelling, David Grinspoon, Jessica D. Mink, Christina Richey, Angela Speck, Cristina A. Thomas, Sarah E. Tuttle

(Submitted on 1 Aug 2019)

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) is calling on federal science funding agencies, in their role as the largest sources of funding for astronomy in the United States, to take actions that will end harassment, particularly sexual harassment, in astronomical workplaces. Funding agencies can and should lead the charge to end harassment in astronomy by the 2030 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Anecdotal and quantitative evidence, gathered both by the CSWA and other groups, shows that harassment is prevalent and damaging for women and minority astronomers and those in related fields. Actions recommended herein will increase the rate of reporting of harassment to agencies and improve their ability to investigate and take action against harassers. We also recommend that agencies participate in harassment prevention by creating and implementing the best anti-harassment education possible. 

Key recommendations are: 

- Federal agencies should improve their ethics policies by making harassment a form of scientific misconduct. 

- Federal agencies should mandate that institutions report to them when a funded Principal Investigator (PI) or co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) is found to be a perpetrator of harassment. 

- Federal funding agencies should provide online guides to help scientists identify harassment and connect them to the right resources for making confidential or official reports. 

- Federal agencies should create and ensure the implementation of anti-harassment trainings by making them a requirement of receiving grant funding.

Comments: 11 pages plus references, 1 figure; APC (State of the Profession) White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:1908.00589 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1908.00589v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Aparna Venkatesan 

[v1] Thu, 1 Aug 2019 19:25:58 UTC (176 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.00589

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