Code of Conduct for the Citizen Science Association’s 2019 Conference (CitSci2019)
Code of Conduct for the Citizen Science Association’s 2019 Conference
By attending or in other ways participating in CitSci2019 events, you are agreeing to this Code of Conduct.
The Citizen Science Association (CSA) works to promote a welcoming conference environment at CitSci2019 that is safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all, including attendees, volunteers, exhibitors, invited speakers, stakeholders, service providers and all others (hereafter ‘participants’). CSA values diversity, respect and collaboration, accessibility, participation, integrity and transparency and works to ensure these values are reflected in interactions amongst all participants. We come together at this conference to learn and work together for positive, productive outcomes.
- All CitSci2019 participants are expected to follow standards of professional and ethical behavior.
- Anyone who violates those standards of behavior will face consequences.
- If you are subject to unacceptable behavior, have witnessed it, or would like to seek counsel on an incident please follow the “Reporting unacceptable behavior” guidelines detailed in the Code of Conduct.
How It Works
All CitSci2019 participants in the venue at the time of the conference are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct. Registered CitSci2019 attendees committed to this adherence as part of the registration process.
When people intentionally or unintentionally behave in ways that make others uncomfortable, when a situation is uncomfortable, hurtful, exclusionary, or upsetting, there is a problem that should be addressed. This Code of Conduct is an effort to maintain a safe space for everyone, and outline the consequences if that space is compromised. Please see additional guidelines included in the Code of Conduct regarding how we expect people to interact with one another.
Code of Conduct
To ensure a positive, equitable and open culture, we expect everyone to abide by the following Code of Conduct.
A. Practices for a positive, equitable and open culture
CSA connects people from a wide range of experiences around one shared purpose: advancing knowledge through research and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public. The topics engaged by this community can arouse debate, and strong disagreements may occur. We see this as an asset – it is our explicit mission to set up a space so that these discussions can occur. However, there is a line between debate and disrespect – and if that line is crossed, the space is no longer productive. For that reason we strive to create a positive, equitable, and open culture based on the following practices.
1. We listen.
We begin interactions by acknowledging that we are part of a community and we have complementary goals. When something has happened and someone is uncomfortable, our first choice is to work through it through discussion.
- 1.1 – We listen to each other.
- 1.2 – For active listening, we ask questions first, instead of making statements.
- 1.3 – We give people time and space to respond.
2. We practice consent.
At CitSci2019, everyone’s physical space must be respected at all times. We do not touch other people without asking first– this includes hugs.
- 2.1 – We pay attention and we ask.
- 2.2 – We respect everyone’s right to walk away at any time.
3. We grow.
We are ready and willing to change our behavior to be more welcoming.
- 3.1 – We appropriately adjust our behavior when asked to.
- 3.2 – We know that repeating hurtful behavior after it has been addressed is disrespectful.
- 3.3 – We avoid repeating hurtful behavior ourselves and help others identify when they are doing it.
To promote a welcoming conference environment that is safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all, examples of expected and unacceptable behaviors are provided below.
B. Expected Behavior
- Treat everyone with respect and consideration.
- Communicate openly and thoughtfully with others and be considerate of the multitude of views and opinions that are different than your own.
- Be respectful and thoughtful in your critique of ideas.
- Use the pronouns people have specified for themselves.
- Ask permission to take pictures of others and to post those on social media.
- Speak your own narrative, from your own unique experiences. Do not speak for others.
- Use accessible language to talk about your area of expertise. If others in the group seem confused, slow down, stop and ask for input.
- Give everyone a chance to talk, only interrupting if absolutely necessary – for example, for time updates.
- Stop, listen and ask for clarification if someone perceives your behavior or presentation as violating the Code of Conduct.
- Use words that accurately describe the situation rather than culturally or socially loaded terms – For example, “The wind was ridiculously strong!” instead of “The wind was crazy!
- Recognize that hugs, cheek kisses, and handshakes are normal greetings in some, but not in all cultures, and may not be comfortable for all individuals.
- Ask someone before you touch them, even when joking or greeting, unless the other person has given verbal consent.
- Use an even tone, rate, and volume of voice when disagreeing. Note that differences will be common, and some will be irreconcilable at a diverse conference.
- Be aware of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert Conduct support team members if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress; see below regarding reporting.
C. Unacceptable Behavior
Harassment is hurtful, non-consensual attention. Note that many forms of harassment do not look like physical or verbal abuse, but still fall into this category. Harassment can include exhibiting sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, photography or recording without permission, sustained disruption of talks or conversations, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Harassment and intimidation, including any verbal, written, or physical conduct that threatens, intimidates, or coerces another participant.
- Discrimination based on gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, lactation responsibility, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, or culture.
- Physical or verbal abuse of any participant.
- Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; threatening, stalking or sexually harassing any CitSci2019 participant or venue staff.
- Exposing culturally sensitive data, images, locations or other information when you have not received explicit permission from the group for use in such a way, e.g., photos or stories in presentations.
- Purposely misgendering someone (ie, refusing to use their correct gender pronouns) after they have told you their correct pronouns.
- Uploading photos of others online without their consent.
- Imitating the cultural expressions of groups you are not a member of.
- Dismissing people’s experiences as illegitimate or merely personal.
- Presenting information in a way / language that no one else in the room can understand, with no attempt to include others in the discussion.
- Disrespectful disruption of a presentation or a discussion.
- Ignoring or arguing with others’ request to stop potentially harmful behavior, even if it was an accident or you don’t mean it as it is being interpreted.
- Using disability and mental/emotional health terminology to describe a situation metaphorically, even if it seems normal to use it.
- Initiating or simulating physical contact without consent, even if it seems normal.
- Violating personal space by continuing your physical presence in private spaces without consent.
- Verbally or physically abusing, harassing, yelling at, or intimidating any participant.
D. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior
Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
Upon review of circumstances, possible consequences for violation of the CitSci2019 Code of Conduct include:
- Being asked to leave the meeting without refund;
- being barred from future CSA meetings and online spaces;
- not being considered for service on CSA boards or committees;
- and ineligibility for CSA awards.
CSA staff (or their designee) or security may take these actions, or any deemed necessary and appropriate.
E. Responding to and Reporting Unacceptable Behavior
If there is an emergency and there’s a threat of imminent harm, contact police or law enforcement immediately.
1. Say something. If you are the target of, or witness unacceptable behavior, and do not have reason to fear for your or other’s safety, call out that behavior in a calm, matter of fact manner that does not escalate the problem. Sometimes people do not realize their impact on others and need help to learn better ways to interact.
2. Report it. There are different ways in which you can make a Code of Conduct report at CitSci2019. We strongly recommend you act or report as soon as possible. For reports, please note the time, place and any other people present when the behavior occurred. CSA will make every effort to protect the privacy of those involved.
- 2.1 – Report to the CitSci2019 conduct support team. Conduct support team members are Jennifer Shirk (CSA’s Interim Executive Director), Austin Mast (CSA Board Member), Richard Smart, and Lisa Rasmussen. They are identifiable by a prominent indication on their name badge.
- 2.2 – Fill out a reporting form online. Click here to submit. This form is checked frequently by CitSci2019 conduct support team members, and may be submitted anonymously.
- 2.3 – Email the designated CitSci2019 conduct support team directly. A dedicated, confidential email [firstname.lastname@example.org] will be checked frequently by conduct support people who will respond to you as soon as your message is read. This email account will continue to be checked for one week after the conference ends.
- 2.4 – Never make an incident report to the conduct support team on social media of any kind.
This Code of Conduct was shepherded by staff, board and members of the CSA community and largely drew from other Codes of Conduct, including those by the Gathering for Open Science Hardware, International Congress of Marine Conservation 2016, Public Lab, and TransH4CK.
We recommend this article as a resource to understand the intent of Codes of Conduct:
Favaro, B., Oester, S., Cigliano, J.A., Cornick, L.A., Hind, E.J., Parsons, E.C.M., Woddbury, T.J. 2016. Your science conference should have a code of conduct. Frontiers in Marine Science.