Code of Conduct
We are committed to creating an inclusive, collaborative environment for all who participate in this gathering, and therefore ask that all participants complete this form prior to arrival. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the Code further, please email Lucianne Walkowicz: contact AT decolonize DOT space
We endorse guidelines regarding professional behavior, bullying, and harassment, of the American Physical Society (APS), American Astronomical Society (AAS), and the Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). These documents are linked below, and we expect that participants will read and abide by these guidelines. In addition, we summarize the main values and rules of the program below, which draw heavily from the linked APS/AAS/AURA documents, as well as additional online resources (such as the guidelines of the Recurse Center).
AAS Ethics Statement, including “Conduct Towards Others”:
AAS Anti-Harassment Policy:
The APS Guidelines for Professional Conduct:
The Recurse Center Manual:
AURA Standards of Workplace Conduct:
Principles of Engagement
The following are a few basic social rules, adapted from those of the Recurse Center. These rules make explicit certain norms of social behavior that help uphold the values listed above, as well as the ethical guidelines we endorse. If you mess up on any of the below, don’t panic: we all make mistakes sometimes. Apologize, reflect, move forward.
Raise all voices
During sessions and discussions, pay attention to who is contributing. Invite contributions from quieter members of the group, and be conscientious of not dominating the conversation. We understand that it can be exciting to discuss a new idea, but always strive to listen (rather than just wait your turn to speak).
No feigning surprise
In an environment where participants have different backgrounds and knowledge, it is very important that people feel comfortable saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand.” Therefore, please do not act surprised when someone says they don’t know something, whether it is regarding a technical or non-technical subject (e.g. “What?! I can’t believe you don’t know what X is!”). Quoting from Recurse: "Feigning surprise has absolutely no social or educational benefit: When people feign surprise, it's usually to make them feel better about themselves and others feel worse. And even when that's not the intention, it's almost always the effect."
As defined by Recurse, "A 'well-actually' happens when someone says something that's almost (but not entirely) correct, and you say, 'well, actually...' and then give a minor correction.” Well-actually’s interrupt the discussion and fixate on a minor, usually irrelevant point, often solely to make the person delivering the well-actually feel more important. If you feel the need to correct someone, take a moment to consider whether your correction is in the spirit of truth-seeking, and whether it will provide a positive contribution to the discussion.
We explicitly ban racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other kinds of bias— whether these behaviors are overt or subtle. Subtle -isms can be particularly tricky, as they are often unconscious behaviors we engage in by mistake, and are sometimes caused by conflicting norms between cultures. To use an example from Recurse, saying "It's so easy my grandmother could do it" is a subtle -ism. If you experience these behaviors during the course of the meeting, you should feel free to bring it up directly with the person, or if it’s more comfortable, point out the behavior to the meeting organizer (Lucianne Walkowicz). If someone points out that you have engaged in this behavior, it can be tempting to become defensive— but instead, we ask that you apologize, reflect a moment, and move on. If you do not understand why issue was taken with your behavior, we will be happy to discuss it with you, so that everyone can learn from the experience.
I am willing to uphold the principles of engagement described above to the best of my ability.
Thanks for reading! We look forward to seeing you.
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