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Caltech suspends professor for harassment

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Science  15 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6270, pp. 216
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6270.216

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The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena has suspended a faculty member for gender-based harassment. The university has not disclosed the name of the faculty member, but Science has learned that it is Christian Ott, a professor of theoretical astrophysics who studies gravitational waves and other signals from some of the most violent events in the cosmos. In what is believed to be a first such action by the university, the researcher has been stripped of his Caltech salary and barred from campus for 1 year, is undergoing personalized coaching to become a better mentor, and will need to prove that he has been rehabilitated before he can resume advising students without supervision. Caltech has not curtailed his research activities. The case surfaces as harassment has become a major flashpoint within the astronomy community and even within Congress.

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