New AGU Ethics and Equity Center to Combat Sexual Harassment, Bias, and Foster a Positive Work Climate in the Sciences

Led by AGU, the Center will provide resources at the organization and individual levels, including free legal consultations.

12 February 2019


Washington — AGU today announced the launch of the AGU Ethics and Equity Center (the Center). The Center aims to tackle the issues of bias, harassment, and discrimination in science by fostering safe work environments and working to ensuring that researchers, students, and institutions have access to leading practices and tools to address harassment and achieve inclusive excellence. AGU was one of the first scientific societies to recognize sexual harassment as scientific misconduct—akin to plagiarism and falsification of data—that harms the individual and the entire scientific enterprise. In addition to providing access to a wealth of professional ethics-related resources, a key unique feature of the Center is to provide access to consultation with a legal advisor, available to AGU members and members of partner organizations, their students, postdocs, and untenured faculty members experiencing harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation or other misconduct. This service will empower individuals to make informed decisions with confidence, educate individuals about formal and informal and internal and external remedies, promote effective communication, and offer guidance in charting a successful course forward.

The Center will be regularly updated with professional development and ethics-related resources designed to support individual scientists at all career stages, as well as information for organizations and institutional leaders that are looking to implement leading practices in ethics or equity related topics. It will also be a home for information on upcoming workshops on a variety of related topics, as well as a place where interested parties can request custom workshops tailored to their own specific needs.

“Science is strongest when a diverse set of voices are not simply at the table or in the lab, but encouraged, to share their perspectives and ideas. Revising AGU’s ethics policy was the first step in ensuring that bias, harassment, and discrimination don’t compromise the global scientific enterprise and that everyone who is inspired to contribute to Earth and space science are welcomed and supported in doing so. We all benefit from more diverse viewpoints to improve our science as we look to another wonderful century of discovery and science for humanity. Launching the AGU Ethics and Equity Center is a critical next step,” AGU President Robin Bell said. “The passion the Earth and space science community has for using science to build a world in which people – all people – can thrive is inspirational. The Center will be a place where that same passion can be put to work transforming workplace culture, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

AGU is marking its Centennial in 2019, and the Center was developed as a cornerstone program of that celebration.

Led by AGU, the Center benefits greatly from partnerships with the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics, the American Geosciences Institute, the Association for Women Geoscientists, the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Earth Science Women’s Network, the Ecological Society of America, the Geological Society of America, and the International Association for Promoting Geoethics. The ongoing strategic direction of the Center will be overseen by an advisory group of ethics experts and experienced leaders from across scientific disciplines and sectors.

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AGU is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing nearly 60,000 members in 135 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.


AGU Contact:

Joshua Speiser
+1 (202) 777-7444
jspeiser@agu.org