As part of its overall code of conduct, ASPB is committed to ensuring that Plant Biology 2023 is a welcoming and inclusive space for sharing ideas and knowledge. To this end, ASPB will provide a safe and productive environment that promotes collegiality, respect, and equal opportunity for all.

All Plant Biology 2023 participants agree to refrain from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying (as defined below) in their interactions during the conference. This professional standard is especially important when interactions involve power differentials, because these behaviors have adverse impacts on the careers of scientists and the proper conduct of science. This code of conduct applies to all participants of the virtual conference, including but not limited to attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and any other viewers.

Among the behaviors that will not be tolerated are the following:

  • Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups of people based on their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.
  • Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
  • Bullying is unwelcome, aggressive behavior involving the use of influence, threat, intimidation, or coercion to dominate others in the professional environment.
  • Speech that is not welcome or that is personally offensive, whether it is based on ethnicity, race, gender, age, body size, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason unrelated to scientific merit.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate contact, and unwelcome attention through any medium.
  • Other types of harassment include any written, verbal, or other conduct in any medium directed at individuals or groups of people because of their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, veteran status, political affiliation or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so we ask that you use discretion to be sure that respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner nevertheless constitutes unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting harassment is also a violation of this policy, as is reporting an incident in bad faith.  It is essential to remember that it is the perception by the observer and/or receiver of any of the above, not the intent by the perpetrator, that constitutes a violation of the code of conduct.

Reporting Harassment

Any harassment, whether experienced directly or witnessed, should be reported promptly to Jean Rosenberg, Director, Meetings and Marketing, ASPB – or +1 301-792-5883. All complaints will be taken seriously and responded to promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.

What We Will Do

Once we have received a harassment complaint, ASPB will promptly:

  • Privately get in contact with the complainant to discuss the details of the situation they encountered
  • Contact the alleged offender to discuss the complaint
  • Report findings to the ASPB president who will determine next steps
  • Consult with the complainant before taking any action
  • Seek legal counsel as appropriate

ASPB reserves the right to remove an individual from the conference without warning or refund, prohibit attendance at future conferences, and notify the individual’s employer and federal funding agencies.

For any questions about the policy, please contact: Crispin Taylor, CEO, American Society of Plant Biologists,