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The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., will ask its members next month to change the organization’s bylaws to allow proven sexual harassers and those guilty of other misconduct to be ejected from their ranks. That’s a first for the prestigious organization that advises the U.S. government on scientific issues: Its members, who are voted in by other members, have always been elected for life.
NAS let its more than 2300 members know of the upcoming vote and directed them to information on the process of ejecting a member in an email sent on 1 April, the required month ahead of a planned vote on 30 April, at NAS’s annual meeting. The vote will ask members to approve a bylaw change to allow NAS to oust proven sexual harassers and others who breach NAS’s Code of Conduct, for example by bullying, discrimination, or plagiarism. Changing the bylaws will require “yes” votes by a simple majority of voting members.
Vote - Cleaning - House - Message - Members
“This vote is less about cleaning house and more about sending the message that the members of the National Academy of Sciences adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct and are serious about expecting that their colleagues abide by our code,” says Marcia McNutt, NAS president.
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She’s been holding regional meetings of NAS members for months, trying to get buy-in for a yes vote from members, who are 83% male and whose average age is 72. Straw polls showed that 90% of members at those meetings favored the bylaw change, according to a background document provided to NAS members today.
NAS - Members - Institutions - Harassment - Misconduct
Several high-profile NAS members have been found guilty by their institutions of sexual harassment or misconduct. They include neuroscientist Thomas Jessell, who was fired last year from Columbia...
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