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Foster Calls on National Science Foundation to Implement Reforms Regarding Sexual Harassment

Jun 20, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) called on the National Science Foundation to implement reforms to foster a better work and research environment for all scientists and researchers. Foster sent a letter to the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) urging the implementation of policies to require institutions to notify the NSF of findings of harassment by personnel on new grants and the institution’s response to those findings. The letter was signed by 32 Members of Congress.

“Scientific research and innovation suffers when women are unable to work in an environment that is supportive of their ideas and contributions to the field,” Foster said. “I strongly believe that sexual harassment must be treated just like any other research misconduct to protect research integrity and foster an environment that is conducive to productive and fruitful research. I urge the NSF to implement and enforce this policy as swiftly as possible.”

This week, the National Academies released a report that comprehensively evaluated the prevalence and prevention of sexual harassment in academic science, engineering, and medicine. The report found that over half of female academics in science have experienced harassment. Recently, the National Science Foundation announced proposed policies to require institutions who receive new NSF funding to report perpetrators of harassment and the actions they have taken to address the harassment.

The full letter is available here.