ASM Statement in Response to the Committee Hearing: “Combatting Sexual Harassment"

June 12, 2019

Statement from the American Society for Microbiology
in response to the
House Science, Space and Technology Committee Hearing:
“Combatting Sexual Harassment In Science”

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) commends Chairwoman Johnson, Ranking Member Lucas, and members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee for convening today’s hearing to shine a light on the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields, and to discuss actions the federal government can initiate to support research on and support efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment.  ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of 30,000 scientists and health professionals. Our mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences, including programs and initiatives funded by the federal government departments and agencies, by virtue of the integral role microorganisms play in human health and society.

We strongly support the Committee’s efforts to address sexual harassment in the scientific workplace and wherever it exists, as we believe government has an important role to play in terms of convening stakeholders, authorizing data collection, and funding research to better understand the factors that contribute to sexual harassment. To that end, ASM has endorsed H.R. 36, the Combatting Sexual Harassment in STEM Act of 2019, and its companion legislation in the Senate.   

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.

Likewise, ASM and its members stand ready to assist the Committee in its efforts to address sexual harassment. We 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.

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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