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National academy to allow expulsion of harassers

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Science  07 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6444, pp. 916
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6444.916

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The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., has voted to allow expulsion of members for breaches of its Code of Conduct, including sexual harassment. Until now, election to the 156-year-old academy, a pinnacle of scientific achievement, has been a lifetime honor. But in voting that ended on 31 May, members of the academy—who are 83% male and on average 72 years old—amended the group's bylaws to allow members to be ousted for serious, proven violations of its Code of Conduct. The code describes offenses that run the gamut from plagiarizing papers to bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Anyone can bring a complaint against a member, but NAS will not conduct investigations. Instead, complainants will need to present official findings from outside bodies showing that a member violated the code.