A. PURPOSE OF THE RULES
Thank you for being part of the ASCB community. These Rules are meant to set forth how we communicate and interact with each other to facilitate the best possible experience for participation within ASCB. The intent is to ensure civil, collegial, respectful, and professional experiences and interactions at ASCB programs, events, and activities. The overall expectation is for you to act respectfully and responsibly and to use good judgment in your words and actions. Adherence to these Rules is a precondition for participation in any ASCB setting.
These Rules are meant to establish the best conditions for the pursuit of the ASCB mission: advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development, and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce.
In pursuit of the mission, those participating within ASCB are expected to satisfy ethical, professional, and personal standards of conduct, as set forth below. The Society may discipline, suspend, or expel individuals whose actions violate the ASCB Rules or Bylaws, or that are otherwise not in the best
interest of the Society.
B. WHO IS COVERED BY THESE RULES?
These Rules apply to ASCB members, guests, vendors, staff members, and participants in ASCB programs, events, publishing and conference presentations, and activities. The Rules apply to interactions in person, in meetings, at events, in discussions, in publications and presentations, and in our online and virtual communities, social media, and ASCB platforms both verbal and written, as well
as other written, spoken, and visual expressions within ASCB programs and offerings, together referred to as the “ASCB activities.” It is a privilege, not a right, to be an participant at an ASCB activity.
C. WHAT IS REQUIRED UNDER THE RULES?
Participants in ASCB activities are required to:
- Respect others. Use ASCB activities to collegially share information, successes, challenges, constructive feedback, questions, and goals relating to your work and professional endeavors.
- Actively avoid discriminatory, harassing, bullying, defamatory, abusive, threatening, disrespectful, offensive, and illegal communications and actions.
- Respect intellectual property. Only share research and information that is yours or that you have permission to use, and properly attribute content to yourself and others.
- Refrain from posting or otherwise circulating commercial messages, product or service promotions, advertising, or selling goods or services unless authorized by ASCB.
- Refrain from disclosing confidential and private information, including personal health information, about members, colleagues, research, and research subjects. Information communicated to others is subject to libel and slander laws.
D. ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES: REPORTS/COMPLAINTS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND
- Reports and complaints are to be made in writing to the ASCB CEO, the ASCB President, or to ASCB staff for referral to the ASCB CEO or his/her designee. Complainants may request anonymity, but in the course of an investigation and resolution of a complaint, anonymity may not necessarily be granted or guaranteed.
- Urgent Enforcement Situations. Notwithstanding any other procedures set forth in this Policy, if the ASCB CEO and the President or their designee(s) agree that a situation or conduct warrants emergency action, at their discretion they can take immediate action to remove anyone from any ASCB activities, suspend any individual’s membership, or bar them from ASCB activities. In such emergency situations, there would be no need to follow any investigation procedures set forth below.
- Retaliation for good faith complaints is prohibited. Retaliating against good faith complainants, and making bad faith complaints are subject to disciplinary action under these Rules.
- Disciplinary Actions can range from a verbal warning to removal from any ASCB activity, including removal from a meeting without refund of registration or vendor fees, suspension from one or more ASCB activities, or permanent exclusion from one or more ASCB activities.
- Once a potential Rules violation is observed or reported, the ASCB CEO, or the President, or their designee will determine if the conduct as described would potentially violate these Rules or any other ASCB rules or requirements. If so, ASCB will investigate the matter.
- Matters pertaining to ASCB staff are handled by the ASCB CEO or his/her designee in accordance with the ASCB Staff Policies and Procedures. The following procedures in these Rules are inapplicable to such situations.
- If suspected criminal activity has occurred, the complainant or complaint will be directed to law enforcement officials.
- If the matter pertains to a Councilor, the President will appoint two or three Councilors, and may also appoint the CEO to the investigation committee.
- If the matter pertains to an individual other than a Councilor or staff, the CEO shall appoint two impartial staff members or volunteers. In the event a complaint is made against the ASCB President or CEO, the other members of the Executive Committee will appoint impartial members of an investigation committee.
- The investigation committee will review the reported facts (which should be provided in writing), advise the alleged offender of the complaint, give the alleged offender an opportunity to address and respond to the complaint, and as deemed useful contact any witnesses. The investigation committee may seek the advice of one or more ASCB Councilors, legal counsel, and outside experts. Once the investigation is complete, the investigation committee will report its findings and make recommendations to the ASCB CEO, or if it concerns a Councilor, to the ASCB President for decision at their discretion.
- Decisions other than temporary removal actions taken in Urgent Enforcement Situations are appealable.
- Decisions are based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it was more likely than not that the alleged offender engaged in the alleged action.
- Complainants have 10 working days (or longer if the CEO or the President or their designee decides), to provide a written statement and to gather statements from any witnesses to the conduct.
- Disciplinary action against an individual other than a Council member or ASCB member may be made by the ASCB CEO or his/her designee. Such decisions are appealable only to the ASCB President or two ASCB volunteers he/she designates, who decide in their discretion whether such appeal will be in person, by video, or by phone. Their decision is final.
- Disciplinary actions against an ASCB member are to be made together by the ASCB President and CEO, or their designees, at their discretion. Such decisions are appealable to the ASCB President’s designees from Council. However, revocation of ASCB membership can be made only by majority vote of the full Council.
- Disciplinary actions against a Councilor can be made only by the Executive Committee. Proposals to suspend or remove a Councilor from Council are governed by the ASCB Bylaws. Disciplinary actions against Councilors are appealable to the full Council. The Councilor in question shall have the right to appear personally, either in-person or by video or conference call as determined in the discretion of the President, and may submit written materials in advance. The Council’s decision is based on whether the Executive Committee’s initial decision was a clearly an error and if any matter of discretion was in fact an abuse of discretion, and is final. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the ASCB CEO or other ASCB staff.
E. Annual Report of Complaints
ASCB will publish an annual report summarizing complaints of misconduct and actions taken to provide the community with information that will raise awareness about ASCB’s procedures and resources. If no complaints were filed, this will be noted in the report. The report will be posted on the ASCB website and made available to members. ASCB reserves the right to revise these Rules at any time, with notice of changes to be posted on the ASCB website.