14 October 2015

How to End Sexual Harassment in Astronomy

C. Urry Yale University

The following excerpt comes from ScientificAmerican.com, with permission:

Last week news broke that astronomer Geoff Marcy had sexually harassed students, according to a Title IX investigation by his institution, the University of California, Berkeley. Last month the Association of American Universities reported an alarmingly high number of students experiencing sexual assault on college campuses. Last year a study found that a majority of graduate students and postdocs doing fieldwork in anthropology and archaeology reported being harassed.

As a professional astronomer, I have seen this behavior push women out of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I am angry that so many bright, ambitious, eager young scientists have had their dreams crushed, and I am sad that the world will not benefit from the discoveries and innovations those women (and it is most often women who are targeted) would have given us.

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