ASM Applauds Passage of the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act
American Society for Microbiology Applauds Passage of the
Combating Sexual Harassment In Science Act (H.R. 36)
July 23, 2019
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) applauds the House of Representatives for taking a crucial step forward today to address sexual harassment in science by passing H.R. 36, the “Combating Sexual Harassment Act in Science Act of 2019.” ASM especially commends House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member Frank Lucas for their leadership, and we thank the more than 100 representatives from both parties who cosponsored this important legislation. The provisions in H.R. 36 are critical if we are to solve the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields.
ASM, the largest single life science society composed of 30,000 scientists and health professionals, strongly supports Congress’s efforts to address sexual harassment in the scientific workplace and wherever it exists. We believe government has an important role to play in terms of convening stakeholders, establishing mechanisms across federal agencies to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, authorizing data collection, and funding research to better understand the factors that contribute to sexual harassment in the scientific workforce. As such, we were pleased to endorse H.R. 36 earlier this year.
ASM and its members are committed to promoting an environment that both allows for the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas, and promotes equal opportunities and respectful treatment for all. The best science is conducted when research environments are diverse and inclusive, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. Harassment in any form or for any reason undermines the facilitation of good science.
Recognizing the important role that scientific societies play in ensuring a safe and inclusive environment, ASM has joined with more than 50 other scientific organizations to launch the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine). Together, the members of this Consortium will do our part to advance professional and ethical conduct, climate, and culture across our respective fields.
ASM thanks Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas for shepherding this bill through the House, and we urge their counterparts in the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as possible.