12 September 2018

NASA Issues Antidiscrimination Policy Statement

Richard Fienberg

Richard Fienberg Running Hare Observatory

The following letter from Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, was distributed by NASA to various mailing lists. In case you haven't already seen it, we reproduce it here:

NASA "meatball" logoDear Colleagues,

I am writing concerning an issue that I am relentlessly passionate about: building effective and innovative teams that achieve amazing results for NASA Science. To achieve excellence, we need focus and commitment from the best and brightest of all backgrounds. This goes hand-in-hand with my strong belief in the value and imperative of diversity and inclusion. As the Associate Administrator for Science and as an educator, husband, father and friend, I have personally experienced the value of diversity in my life. On the flip side, I have supported many individuals who have been hurt by harassment, and I have seen the devastating consequences it has had on them and on our community.

We are all responsible for addressing harassment in the workplace. All too often bystanders have failed to intervene, allowing predators to continue harassment for years or even decades.

On 11 September 2018, Administrator Bridenstine signed the "NASA Policy Statement on Antidiscrimination in NASA Conducted or Funded Program, Activities, and Institutions." Let me reinforce the Administrator's policy that discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), disability and age is not acceptable.

Harassment is a serious violation of professional ethics, and should be regarded and treated as such within NASA, as well as our contractor and associated academic communities. I would like to encourage everyone related to NASA science to report harassment claims directly utilizing the information provided in the NASA policy statement signed by Administrator Bridenstine. The Administrator's policy can be found at https://missionstem.nasa.gov/docs/Bridenstine_Title_IX_Policy_Statement_... and guidance for filing a harassment complaint can be found at https://missionstem.nasa.gov/filing-a-complaint.html.

As we go forward, I want to be clear that everyone is welcome within NASA Science, however, harassing behavior has no place here. Every scientist, engineer, and mission support contributor has a right to be treated with respect. NASA strives to create a workplace environment that is free of harassment and discrimination, and we expect every university and contractor with which we do business to strive for the same.

I call on everyone in our community to join me and our team at NASA Science to continually reassert through our words and actions that we are committed to these values.


Thomas H Zurbuchen, PhD
Associate Administrator
Science Mission Directorate