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ResourcesResearch Integrity(US) This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science – but her own job is in peril – Science (By Meredith Wadmam | February 2019)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science – but her own job is in peril – Science (By Meredith Wadmam | February 2019)

 


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BethAnn McLaughlin has no time for James Watson, especially not when the 90-year-old geneticist is peering out from a photo on the wall of her guest room at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Banbury Center.

Time is most definitely up for sexual harassment in the research sector.  This particular story is more about sexual harassment in science+acaemia, rather than research and about institutional processes.  The achievements of researchers shouldn’t be lauded if they are a sexual harasser or a bully. A repeat who bring in large grants shouldn’t be treated any differently than everyone else. The damage they do is toxic

“I don’t need him staring at me when I’m trying to go to sleep,” McLaughlin told a December 2018 gathering at the storied New York meeting center as she projected a photo of her redecorating job: She had hung a washcloth over the image of Watson, who co-discovered DNA’s structure, directed the lab for decades—and is well-known for racist and sexist statements.
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The washcloth image was part of McLaughlin’s unconventional presentation—by turns sobering, hilarious, passionate, and profane—to two dozen experts who had gathered to wrestle with how to end gender discrimination in the biosciences. McLaughlin, a 51-year-old neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, displayed the names of current members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment. She urged other NAS members—several of whom sat in the room—to resign in protest, “as one does.” She chided institutions for passing along “harassholes” to other universities. “The only other places that do this are the Catholic Church and the military,” she said.
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