Code of Conduct

Expected behavior

  • Demonstrate respect and consideration for all people. Avoid dominating the microphone or airtime. In a virtual meeting, mute audio when not speaking.
  • Communicate openly and thoughtfully with others, listen well to others, and be considerate of the multitude of views and opinions that are different than your own. Make room for a diversity of voices in group discussions, on panels, and the like. Welcome all voices, regardless of whether they participate by video, audio, or other means. Facilitators, invite discussion but be sensitive not to pressure those who have not communicated to do so.
  • Be respectful in discussing and debating ideas. Demonstrate that differing perspectives are valued—critique ideas, not people.
  • Be collaborative. Be mindful not to exert dominance over others. Consider the effect of power differentials in relationships, positions, experiences; ease of communicating by video vs. audio or other means; and other factors to avoid dominance.
  • Follow the rules and policies of the venue and/or platform.
  • Act to avoid invading personal privacy of individuals. Assume that a person who is being viewed at times or in places where people can reasonably expect privacy (e.g., bathrooms, breastfeeding rooms) via a virtual event platform does not realize the situation, and notify the event contact(s) right away to help the person.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants during an in-person event. Call 911 or alert hotel/venue security if someone is in immediate danger or if an immediate and serious safety concern exists.
  • Report conduct concerns to an event contact so that concerns can be addressed responsibly and in a timely fashion. If you learn about the identities of any individuals involved in a conduct concern, respect and maintain the confidentiality of the individuals involved. If you are questioned as part of an investigation or review of a conduct concern, answer questions in a forthright and complete manner.
  • If any leader or facilitator of an activity/session, any official of the platform, or any event official directs you to stop a behavior or delete a comment, comply immediately. Such directions are made to implement this policy or the platform’s policies. After participants comply, they may raise any questions or concerns to an event contact.

Unacceptable behavior

  • Do not intentionally talk over or interrupt others.
  • Do not favor those participating by video, over audio or by other means.
  • Do not engage in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, or harassing/hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest (e.g., based on power differential, gender [sex, identity, expression], sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, body size or other physical appearance, disability, socioeconomic status, or other identities); this is the opposite of respectful and welcoming conduct.
  • Do not engage in personal attacks.
  • Do not offer unwelcome sexual attention, including but not limited to making sexualized comments or jokes, displaying sexually explicit material, inappropriate touching, groping, or making sexual advances.
  • Do not engage in stalking or unwelcome or surreptitious photography, screenshots, or recording of individuals.
  • Do not comment on personal appearance or assumed or known reasons why a person chooses to participate via video, audio, or other means—seriously or in jest.
  • Do not retaliate against or disadvantage anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution. Do not make bad faith accusations.
  • Do not disrupt the event (e.g., “zoom-bombing” or sustained or disrespectful disruption of presentations) or engage in harm or threats of harm of any kind. Do not create/contribute to a safety threat or unsafe or exclusionary situation.
  • Do not make audio or visual recordings of the virtual event in any medium and do not distribute audio or visual recordings of the virtual event (via social media or any other means). Screenshots of presentation slides or presenters are acceptable unless the presenter notes otherwise during their presentation. Screenshots of attendees or audience members are not allowed. Only the National Association of Science Writers or its designees may do so. Registration constitutes consent to audio and visual recording (and use and alteration of the recording) by the event organizers (or those it authorizes) during the meeting for non-commercial purposes aligned with the event organizers’ mission.
  • Do not engage in any of these bad acts in the event or virtual event (including via public or private chat)—or on social media or by other means in any way associated with the event or virtual event.