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Prominent Harvard anthropologist put on leave

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Science  12 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6496, pp. 1172-1173
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6496.1172

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Summary

Three former students of Harvard University anthropologist Gary Urton allege that he propositioned or had affairs with them. In 2012, he allegedly invited a graduate student to a "tête-à-tête" to discuss her promising research, then emailed her suggesting he get a hotel room instead. The former student, now a tenured professor, has filed a Title IX complaint alleging sexual harassment against Urton. Two other former students alleged to Science and to The Harvard Crimson that Urton propositioned and seduced them while they were his student or employee; they say the resulting affairs damaged their careers. One woman said her access to key research material was conditional on sex with Urton. Today, neither woman is working as an anthropologist. Last week, Harvard put Urton on paid administrative leave pending a review of the allegations, and the anthropology department removed him as director of undergraduate studies.

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