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ASP Board Statement on Harassment

Recently, multiple serious cases of sexual harassment in astronomy occurring at several major universities have been exposed and reported. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the oldest astronomical society in the U.S., strongly condemns sexual harassment, as well as any form of harassment or discrimination in the astronomical community. We also unequivocally support the victims of abuse who bravely speak out against such behavior, often at the risk of their own professional careers.

The mission of the ASP is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy, by engaging scientists, educators, communicators, amateur astronomers and the public, to advance science and science literacy. We strive to engage people of all backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status. As such, we will not tolerate harassment of any kind in our programs and activities. We encourage all astronomy educators at every level, K-12, college or university, museum, or informal educational setting, to maintain a similar strong stance against harassment of any kind in their educational institution or setting.

Sexual harassment weakens our field by driving out members of our community and hampering their professional development, thereby costing us their contributions, on top of the personal and professional suffering caused. All members of our community must step up and take responsibility for these events, even if committed by a few.

The creation of a truly respectful astronomical community requires the participation of us all; more senior members of the community, especially those from more privileged groups, must speak out and play an active role. If we all work together to develop and maintain an environment that does not tolerate harassment, then the field of astronomy will be better off.