May 22, 2018

Statement by the Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine on Preventing Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in science, engineering, and medicine diminishes the integrity of the U.S. research enterprise. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine take this issue very seriously. We have long been committed to providing a safe workplace free of harassment and intimidation, and our sexual harassment policy applies to anyone who is involved in the work of the Academies, including staff, volunteers, and members of our three Academies. We want to be sure that we are doing everything possible to prevent sexual harassment, to instill a culture of inclusion and respect, and to reinforce that harassment is not tolerated.

The National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine has a long history of advocating for increased participation and well-being of women in these disciplines, and in 2016, the committee initiated a study on sexual harassment in academia. We are pleased that the resulting report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will be released next month. The report’s evidence-based recommendations are intended to be a guide for academic institutions and professional societies, and will be used to inform a re-examination of our policies and procedures as well.

We recognize that the scientific, engineering, and medical communities and the wider public place much trust in us to advise the nation on a wide range of matters, and we must always ensure that we are deserving of that trust. As a result, the leadership Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine have begun a dialogue about the standards of professional conduct for membership in our three Academies.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. Mote, Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine