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Highlighting sexual harassment in the scientific community

While Hollywood is in the spotlight for its sexual harassment issues, movie stars in California are not the only ones who have to deal with it. Those in the scientific community have asked the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to do more to stop harassment within its ranks. It specifically asks that those who are honored by the AAAS to be stripped of their awards if they are found to be engaged in harassing behavior.

A study found that 58 percent of women faculty and staff members at academic institutions have been victims of sexual harassment. The study was conducted by the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Each year 15 people are chosen by the AAAS to take part in the prestigious Leshner Fellowship. Its goal is to foster collaboration between scientists and the general public.

Women who have taken part in the program say that addressing the issue of sexual harassment is part of what the Leshner Fellowship program is about. Those who are victims of sexual harassment could experience mental health problems in addition to negative impacts on their careers. However, those who engage in harassing behaviors may be kept around because of their ability to obtain funding for their research institutions. The AAAS released a statement saying that sexual harassment should not be tolerated within the scientific community.

Those who have lost a job or were demoted because of their gender could be victims of sexual harassment. It may be worthwhile to contact an attorney to learn more about how to hold an employer accountable for its actions. Sexual harassment may occur even if an employer is unaware of the activity. Victims of workplace discrimination may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or other damages.

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