AAAS Annual Meeting Code of Conduct

AAAS is committed to making the Annual Meeting an inclusive space for sharing ideas and knowledge. The Board approved the following code of conduct in October 2015.

AAAS Commitment

AAAS is committed to providing a safe and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration, follow venue rules, and alert staff or security of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress. Speakers are expected to uphold standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics. This includes notifying AAAS staff in advance of the meeting about any possible conflicts of interest. AAAS recognizes that there are areas of science that are controversial. The AAAS Annual Meeting can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. The policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests at the Annual Meeting and related events.

AAAS prohibits any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Harassment should be reported immediately to AAAS Meetings staff: or (202) 326-6450.

What is Harassment?

Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive, whether it is based on ethnicity, gender, religion, age, body size, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. It includes stalking, unnecessary touching, and unwelcome attention.

Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be sure that respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting harassment is also a violation of this policy, as is reporting an incident in bad faith.

Reporting Harassment

AAAS is committed to supporting a productive and safe working environment for everyone at the meeting. If an individual experiences or witnesses harassment, they should contact AAAS Meetings staff at or (202) 326-6450, or use a venue phone and ask for security if they feel unsafe. All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.

If an individual experiences harassment, it is recommended that, in addition to notifying AAAS Meetings staff, they write down the details, as they may be asked to fill out a report. They are not expected to discuss the incident with the offending party. Their confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.

If an individual wishes to file a formal complaint of harassment:

  • Notify AAAS Meetings staff: or (202) 326-6450.
  • AAAS staff will then discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then with the alleged offender; seek counsel if the appropriate course of action is unclear; and report findings to the AAAS Executive Office and AAAS Chief Legal Officer.
  • AAAS will consult with the individual filing the complaint prior to taking any action.

AAAS reserves the right to remove an individual from the Annual Meeting without warning or refund, prohibit attendance at future AAAS meetings, and notify the individual’s employer.

For any questions about this policy, please contact Andrew Black, Chief of Staff and Director, Executive Office, Director of Meetings, at or (202) 326-6640.

Registration for the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting will be available in August.