Reply To: Supporting women in paleo

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Eleanor Gardner

I recognize that this is slightly off-topic and will make some folks uncomfortable, but yet it is related, and since this newly-published article is trending on social media, it seems worthwhile to bring it to the attention of the myFOSSIL community too.

“Sexual Harassment in the Sciences: A Call to Geoscience Faculty and Researchers to Respond,” published in the Journal of Geoscience Education

This result really stuck out to me: “64% of respondents (n = 666, 78% women) report personally experiencing sexual harassment (i.e., inappropriate or sexual remarks, comments about physical beauty, cognitive sex differences, or other such jokes)…” Unfortunately, I myself have experienced these kinds of comments at every level of my geoscience education and career.  I’m willing to bet that others on myFOSSIL have too.

I couldn’t agree more with this sentence in the article’s conclusion — “Everyone has a responsibility to engage the highest standards of professionalism in all interactions with colleagues and students.” I would add the public to that list as well.

The article puts out a call to professional societies to confront the issue head-on by establishing policies to prevent harassment and sanctions for violators.  Here is a link to the Paleontological Society’s policy: I wonder if there are sanctions in place for those who violate policies?

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