Meeting Code of Conduct
LSST is committed to providing an inclusive, collaborative environment at this meeting. With regard to professional behavior, bullying, and harassment, we endorse the guidelines of the following community sources:
- AAS Ethics Statement, including “Conduct Towards Others”
- AAS Anti-Harassment Policy
- The APS Guidelines for Professional Conduct
- The Recurse Center Manual
- AURA Standards of Workplace Conduct
- European Astronomical Society Ethics Statement and Guidelines Good Practice
Based on these sources, we adopt the following code of conduct for LSST2019. We expect participants will read and abide by these guidelines.
LSST adheres to the following principles in order to provide a learning environment that produces rigor and excellence:
- Shared Responsibility. Each participant is a citizen within a larger community, and shares responsibility in maintaining the health of that community.
- Honesty. Quoting from the APS: "Science is best advanced when there is mutual trust, based upon honest behavior, throughout the community."
- Respect. Inclusive environments foster excellence by challenging us to consider a variety of viewpoints and approaches. We honor alternate viewpoints as opportunities for discussion and learning, and therefore treat others with respect, even if we disagree. Quoting from the AAS guidelines: "Scientists should work to provide an environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. They should promote equality of opportunity and treatment for all their colleagues, regardless of gender, race, ethnic and national origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or any other reason not related to scientific merit."
Principles of Engagement
The following are a few basic social rules, adapted from those of the Recurse Center. These rules make explicit certain norms of social behavior that help uphold the values listed above, as well as the ethical guidelines we endorse. If you mess up on any of the below, don’t panic: we all make mistakes sometimes. Apologize, reflect, move forward.
- Raise All Voices
During sessions and discussions, pay attention to who is contributing. Chairs are encouraged to be conscious of their biases and avoid preferentially selecting some people and/or paying attention to only some parts of the room. Invite contributions from quieter members of the group, and be conscientious of not dominating the conversation. We understand that it can be exciting to discuss a new idea, but always strive to listen (rather than just wait your turn to speak).
- No Feigning Surprise
In an environment where participants have different backgrounds and knowledge, it is very important that people feel comfortable saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand.” Therefore, please do not act surprised when someone says they don’t know something, whether it is regarding a technical or non-technical subject (e.g. “What?! I can’t believe you don’t know what X is!”). Quoting from Recurse: "Feigning surprise has absolutely no social or educational benefit: When people feign surprise, it's usually to make them feel better about themselves and others feel worse. And even when that's not the intention, it's almost always the effect."
- No Well-Actually's
As defined by Recurse, "A 'well-actually' happens when someone says something that's almost (but not entirely) correct, and you say, 'well, actually...' and then give a minor correction.” Well-actually’s interrupt the discussion and fixate on a minor, usually irrelevant point, often solely to make the person delivering the well-actually feel more important. If you feel the need to correct someone, take a moment to consider whether your correction is in the spirit of truth-seeking, and whether it will provide a positive contribution to the discussion.
- No -isms
We explicitly ban racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other kinds of bias— whether these behaviors are overt or subtle. Subtle -isms can be particularly tricky, as they are often unconscious behaviors we engage in by mistake, and are sometimes caused by conflicting norms between cultures. To use an example from Recurse, saying "It's so easy my grandmother could do it" is a subtle -ism. If you experience these behaviors during the course of the meeting, you should feel free to bring it up directly with the person, or if it’s more comfortable, point out the behavior to the meeting organizer (Ranpal Gill: rgill at lsst dot org). If someone points out that you have engaged in this behavior, it can be tempting to become defensive— but instead, we ask that you apologize, reflect a moment, and move on. If you do not understand why issue was taken with your behavior, we will be happy to discuss it with you, so that everyone can learn from the experience.
We Respect Your Privacy
In order to document the talent, time, and hard work that make LSST a great project, we may assign or contract with photographers and/or videographers to record meeting proceedings or conduct on-camera interviews. If you do not wish to have your likeness recorded at this meeting, you may decline to participate.
At this meeting, red stickers will be available at the registration desk; affixing a red sticker to your conference badge (underneath the plastic, please) will alert us to your preference not to be recorded or approached for an on-camera interview.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) have provided the option of child care at the venue and a lactation room is organised and will be marked on the map. Guidelines given to presenters encourage them to use color palettes and fonts that are suitable for color blind and dyslexic participants. Social platforms with a dedicated hashtag help people to follow essential parts of the discussions through this meeting's hashtag which is #lsst2019. Participants are advised to be mindful and respectful of cultural differences between the participants. Many countries with very different cultural backgrounds are represented at our meeting, and it is every participant’s duty to make sure everybody feels welcome in our society.
The LSST2019 organizers firmly reject all kinds of abusive behaviour. The organisers have worked towards providing a welcoming, safe environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of ideas of all the participants. Every attendee is expected to make their individual contribution towards a respectful and inclusive meeting climate. Any discriminatory behaviour against colleagues on any basis, such as gender, gender identity, race, ethnic background, national origin, religion, political affiliation, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or any other reason will not be tolerated during any LSST event. All participants have agreed to abide by the AURA standards of workplace conduct at the time of registration. Read policy here.
Dealing with bullying, harassment or aggression at LSST2019
The LSST2019 Program Organising Commitee (POC) have appointed Ranpal Gill (rgill at lsst dot org) to act as the designated contact person for reporting instances of bullying, harassment or aggression.
The designated contact person is able to advise attendees on how to deal with hostile situations and incidents. In case that an event is reported, and with the approval of the reporting person, the designated contact person will approach the offending person(s) to discuss how their behaviour is causing distress to other participants and remind them of the code of conduct applicable to all participants. If more serious measures are needed, the designated contact person should inform the reporting person(s) of the procedure to follow in these cases.
Should a participant witness events of bullying, harassment or aggression, the recommendation is to approach the victim to show support, ask how they are doing, and possibly suggest for them to talk to the designated contact person. The decision to approach the contact person should, however, ultimately be left to the victim.
Thank you to Lucianne Walkowicz, the Data Science Fellowship Program and Gaelle Shifrin for contributing resource documents and language to this policy