APS News

October 2021 (Volume 30, Number 9)

October Ethics Column

By Nan Phinney

As fall meeting season approaches, APS remains committed to ensuring a safe and respectful experience for all attendees. Whether the meeting takes place in-person or virtually, all participants are expected to adhere to the APS Code of Conduct for Meetings, in order to uphold a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment. However, a recent survey of early career APS members shows that inappropriate conduct still occurs too often. Changing the physics culture requires more aggressive action and commitment from APS members to confront inappropriate behavior when possible.

The following Frequently Asked Questions are intended to familiarize meeting attendees with the process of reporting misconduct at an APS Meeting.

What should I do if I witness misconduct at an APS meeting?

A powerful deterrent for misconduct is immediate intervention. If an observer feels able and safe calling out misconduct on-the-spot, they should respectfully intervene. Whether or not they intervene, any attendee who witnesses misconduct has a responsibility to report the incident to APS.

harassment graphic

Where do I report misconduct?

All incidents should be reported to an APS staff member on site or through EthicsPoint. Reports should include detailed information, including names of other witnesses.

How long will it take to get a response?

Reports to EthicsPoint receive a response within 48 hours. For immediate connection to an EthicsPoint resolution specialist, call (844) 660-3924.

How will APS respond?

APS staff investigate complaints and, if appropriate, confidentially communicate accusations of inappropriate conduct to the offender. Repeat offenses trigger increased sanctions, including potential exclusion from future meetings. Retaliation for complaints of misconduct will not be tolerated by the APS.

Visit EthicsPoint for more information.

The author is chair-elect of the APS Ethics Committee.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine

October 2021 (Volume 30, Number 9)

APS News Home

Issue Table of Contents

APS News Archives

Contact APS News Editor

Articles in this Issue
Profile in Versatility
The South African Institute of Physics Honors Five APS Members as Fellows
A New Home for the APS Editorial Office
The Division of Gravitational Physics
October Ethics Column
APS Celebrates Undergraduate Research with the LeRoy Apker Award Finalists
Medical Physicist: An Exciting Career with Many Options
This Month in Physics History
News from Government Affairs
FYI: Science Policy News From AIP
The Back Page