ScienceWriters meeting policies
NASW’s Conference and Meeting Code of Conduct
Short version. Full policy available at www.nasw.org/conference-and-meeting-code-conduct
The National Association of Science Writers is committed to providing a professional environment at all of our events, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. We expect our events to be a respectful, harassment-free environment for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, age, socioeconomic status, and belief. NASW values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among all attendees.
In pursuit of those goals, speakers, staff, attendees, and volunteers (i.e. “participants”) at NASW meetings, conferences and events (i.e. the “event”), whether in-person or virtual, are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:
- Demonstrate respect and consideration for all people. Avoid dominating the microphone or airtime. In a virtual meeting, mute audio when not speaking.
- Communicate openly and thoughtfully with others, listen well to others, and be considerate of the multitude of views and opinions that are different than your own. Make room for a diversity of voices in group discussions, on panels, and the like. Welcome all voices, regardless of whether they participate by video, audio, or other means. Facilitators, invite discussion but be sensitive not to pressure those who have not communicated to do so.
- Be respectful in discussing and debating ideas. Demonstrate that differing perspectives are valued—critique ideas, not people.
- Be collaborative. Be mindful not to exert dominance over others. Consider the effect of power differentials in relationships, positions, experiences; ease of communicating by video vs. audio or other means; and other factors to avoid dominance.
- Follow the rules and policies of the venue and/or platform.
- Act to avoid invading personal privacy of individuals. Assume that a person who is being viewed at times or in places where people can reasonably expect privacy (e.g., bathrooms, breastfeeding rooms) via a virtual event platform does not realize the situation, and notify the event contact(s) right away to help the person.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants during an in-person event. Call 911 or alert hotel/venue security if someone is in immediate danger or if an immediate and serious safety concern exists.
- Report conduct concerns to an event contact so that concerns can be addressed responsibly and in a timely fashion. If you learn about the identities of any individuals involved in a conduct concern, respect and maintain the confidentiality of the individuals involved. If you are questioned as part of an investigation or review of a conduct concern, answer questions in a forthright and complete manner.
- If any leader or facilitator of an activity/session, any official of the platform, or any event official directs you to stop a behavior or delete a comment, comply immediately. Such directions are made to implement this policy or the platform’s policies. After participants comply, they may raise any questions or concerns to an event contact.
- Do not intentionally talk over or interrupt others.
- Do not favor those participating by video, over audio or by other means.
- Do not engage in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, or harassing/hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest (e.g., based on power differential, gender [sex, identity, expression], sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, body size or other physical appearance, disability, socioeconomic status, or other identities); this is the opposite of respectful and welcoming conduct.
- Do not engage in personal attacks.
- Do not offer unwelcome sexual attention, including but not limited to making sexualized comments or jokes, displaying sexually explicit material, inappropriate touching, groping, or making sexual advances.
- Do not engage in stalking or unwelcome or surreptitious photography, screenshots, or recording of individuals.
- Do not comment on personal appearance or assumed or known reasons why a person chooses to participate via video, audio, or other means—seriously or in jest.
- Do not retaliate against or disadvantage anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution. Do not make bad faith accusations.
- Do not disrupt the event (e.g., “zoom-bombing” or sustained or disrespectful disruption of presentations) or engage in harm or threats of harm of any kind. Do not create/contribute to a safety threat or unsafe or exclusionary situation.
- Do not make audio or visual recordings of the virtual event in any medium and do not distribute audio or visual recordings of the virtual event (via social media or any other means). Screenshots of presentation slides or presenters are acceptable unless the presenter notes otherwise during their presentation. Screenshots of attendees or audience members are not allowed. Only the National Association of Science Writers or its designees may do so. Registration constitutes consent to audio and visual recording (and use and alteration of the recording) by the event organizers (or those it authorizes) during the meeting for non-commercial purposes aligned with the event organizers’ mission.
- Do not engage in any of these bad acts in the event or virtual event (including via public or private chat)—or on social media or by other means in any way associated with the event or virtual event.
What to do if you have a conduct concern
If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior during in-person or virtual events, please notify the event contacts: Tinsley Davis, NASW executive director (510-859-7229, firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Siri Carpenter, NASW president (608-616-0604, email@example.com).
For in-person events, call 911 or alert hotel/venue security if someone is in immediate danger or if an immediate and serious safety concern exists.
Confidentiality: If the person raising the concern, any identified individual target, or the accused or a witness asks an event contact for confidentiality of their identity while the concern is being addressed, reasonable steps will be taken to maintain it. NASW will not maintain confidentiality if - in its judgment and discretion - safety, law, an investigation, determination of a violation, or disconnecting/removing a participant from the event requires otherwise. Anyone who receives information during an investigation, however, must maintain its confidentiality; failure to do so is a serious violation of this policy, as is retaliation against any identified individual target, witness, or anyone who raises or helps resolve a conduct concern.
Determining a violation and consequences
When a conduct concern under this policy is raised to the event contact(s), determination of a violation will be made and any consequences imposed in as timely a matter as possible. Consequences may include but not be limited to disconnection from the session, required separation from other participants, disconnection from the entire meeting, and banning from future events. For a full discussion of consequences, determination procedures, and details about appealing, see the full policy at www.nasw.org/conference-and-meeting-code-conduct
For any questions about this policy, please contact Tinsley Davis, NASW executive director, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Siri Carpenter, NASW president, email@example.com.
We hope that the virtual format of this year's ScienceWriters and the access to archived videos for the majority of the sessions (available 6 months post-event for registrants) makes it unlikely that you will need to cancel your participation entirely.
Should you need to cancel, either use the link on your confirmation email or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your cancellation request is received by September 30, you will receive a full refund less a $20 processing fee. No refunds can be made once conference satellite events begin on October 1. Non-attendance does not constitute cancellation. Unfortunately, registrations are not transferable to another person.
From time to time, the ScienceWriters conference, NASW, CASW, and its sponsors and partners may use photographs, video, and/or audio recordings of conference events in promotional and educational materials online and in print. By virtue of their attendance, all conference attendees and visitors agree to the use of their likeness in any such materials. Please note that per the Conference and Meeting Code of Conduct attendees may not make audio or visual recordings of the virtual event in any medium and may not distribute audio or visual recordings of the virtual event (via social media or any other means). Screenshots of presentation slides or presenters are acceptable unless the presenter notes otherwise during their presentation. Screenshots of attendees or audience members are not allowed.
The ScienceWriters meeting is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. NASW and CASW value these principles for how they enrich the science writing profession. Specifically, we work to ensure that the annual ScienceWriters conference is welcoming and supportive by respecting the full spectrum of individual identities of those who participate. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or incivility. We encourage attendees to report any concerns via the guidelines in the conference code of conduct.
Session organizers and speakers should reflect the full range of possible voices and expertise. Organizers should strive to build panels and programs that are diverse with regards to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, age, religious belief, and/or socioeconomic status. Organizers must actively seek to recruit speakers from underrepresented groups. In addition, panels and discussions on issues that affect and/or are informed by the perspectives of underrepresented groups are encouraged.
We commit to having a conference venue that is as accessible to, and inclusive of, as many potential attendees as possible. This includes everything from choosing a venue to fine-tuning onsite details. Examples include ensuring that all speakers and questioners use microphones, offering the option to print pronouns on badges, beginning the meeting with a land acknowledgment, and offering childcare and/or nursing rooms. Details are laid out and updated as needed in the tips for session organizers, which should be read and adhered to by all volunteers and staff. Equal care will be given to accessibility of any virtual events.
We will deal promptly with reports of harassment, discrimination, or incivility in relation to the annual conference. We will be transparent about how we have dealt with such reports.
We will gather metrics on these diversity, equity and inclusion goals and publicly report them after the meeting.
For information on this year's accessibility plans, please visit sciencewriters2020.org/accessibility