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Scientific societies host sexual harassment workshop

by Andrea Widener
September 19, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 37

Recent high-profile sexual harassment cases in science prompted the American Chemical Society and several other scientific organizations to convene a workshop to examine the issue. More than 60 representatives from scientific societies, government agencies, and academia attended the workshop, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and organized by the American Geophysical Union. The one-day session, held Sept. 9, was aimed at exploring ways to improve the workplace climate for scientists, better respond to sexual harassment, and better support its victims, according to a statement released by the participating organizations. Among the topics were the sociological and legal landscape surrounding harassment, as well as ways universities and scientific organizations are working to combat harassment in the lab, in the field, and at meetings. Given the complex landscape of harassment, “the workshop outcomes were more about positioning for next steps, than making recommendations and identifying action items,” explains Jodi Weseman, who attended the workshop on behalf of ACS, which publishes C&EN. A report detailing these guiding principles will be released by the end of the year.

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