From the Executive Office
Kevin Marvel, American Astronomical Society (AAS)
Representing the American Astronomical Society, I attended a foundational gathering convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and EducationCounsel on Monday, 1 October.
Leaders from some 70 professional societies convened in Washington, DC, to discuss the issue of sexual harassment in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). Although many organizations have sought to address sexual harassment individually, this meeting represents the first gathering of multiple societies to discuss the issue.
The release in June 2018 of the National Academies consensus report, "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine," has galvanized many additional groups to take action. The outcome of the gathering will be the formation of a consortium of societies working to address harassment in their own organizations and to collaborate and share tools, best practices, and information in the coming months. The consortium will work collectively to develop customizable model frameworks for systems, policies, and practices to combat sexual harassment, as well as a toolkit of practical resource materials for use by societies and institutions.
The STEMM community can — and will — collectively respond to address sexual harassment, as recommended in the National Academies’ consensus report.