ASM Professional Conduct

Colleagues and fellow mammal-enthusiasts 

Over the past couple of months, the ASM Ombudspersons – Jessica Light and John Koprowski – in association with myself and President-Elect Lessa, have revised ASM policy documents on professional conduct to make our expectations both clear and transparent.  Additionally, we have developed a document outlining our proposed course of action in the case of violations of these expectations.  These documents received unanimous support by the Board of Directors, and now comprise official Code of Conduct policy of the ASM.

Our intent with these documents is to make our expectations explicit – no harassment means no harassment, and every ASM member deserves the right to feel comfortable at any ASM event.  We hope never to have to deal with any such issues, but it is only right that we make our expectations clear, and that we provide a transparent policy in the case that it is needed.  Simply put, however, the ASM is about mammal science, and focusing on that science – and talking about it with colleagues – should be the driving focus of our gatherings.  It certainly has been for me, for over three decades now.

I am writing today to inform you of these updated guidelines and to encourage you to review them.  Of course, please contact us if you have suggestions to further improve these documents, which should be regarded as works in progress.  All of these documents are readily accessed at the ASM website, and we are working on making them even more visible.  For now, however, please see the following pages:

Statement of Inclusion

Ombudspersons

Code of Conduct

Course of action in case of misconduct

Finally, Cody Thompson, our Program Director, is preparing to publish the Registration Site for the coming Centennial Meeting.  The process of registering for the meeting will include mandatory check-boxes to confirm that registrants agree to these policies.  Yep – everybody who registers to attend an ASM meeting is required to agree to these expectations of professional conduct.

Please spread this information widely.  I cannot emphasize enough that if you have any concerns, remember that we will treat you and any communication from you with confidentiality to the extent possible.

I look forward to seeing you all this summer in Washington D.C. for the Centennial Meeting of this great society. And of course, be sure to follow us on Twitter @Mammalogists and @MammalMeetings!

Very best,
Douglas A. Kelt
President, American Society of Mammalogists