We are pleased to announce the implementation of our revised Paleontological Society Policy on Non-Discrimination and Code of Conduct. The revised code was ratified by the PS Council on April 29, 2019, and applies to all venues in which our members are present. The revised code can be accessed at this PS-Website Link. In conjunction with this revised code, we are launching “This IS PS: Inclusive and Safe Paleontological Society”, which brings together a team of Society member-leaders who are being trained to receive and give reports of incidences of prohibited behavior at Paleontological Society-sponsored events (link to details), including the upcoming NAPC 2019 in Riverside, CA. We will also be implementing a Blog, where all members will be able to monitor Society activities related to the code.
As many of you know from past communications, the revised code is the product of extensive efforts by the PS Diversity & Inclusion Committee, with input from the PS Council and from the PS member community at-large during a public-comment period. We are grateful to the community for providing numerous comments and insights that significantly improved the final draft.
Importantly, the revised code now contains provisions for enforcement. Central to these efforts is an Ethics Committee. As described in the code, the committee includes the PS past president and representatives from several key PS committees. Details about the committee’s composition, ways in which the code will be incorporated into the review process for PS awards and grants, and procedures for reporting and reviewing allegations of misconduct can be found in the revised-code narrative. The inaugural members of the Ethics Committee are:
Past President – Arnie Miller
Diversity & Inclusion Committee Representative – Dena Smith
Education & Outreach Committee Representative – Phoebe Cohen
Awards Committees Representative – Paul Koch
Nominating Committee Representative – Seth Finnegan
Journal Editor – Brenda Hunda
Student Representative – Kristopher Kusnerik
In the coming year, the PS will also be working to implement a code for ethics in scientific research and publishing, and we will also update the existing code for fossil collecting. As was the case for the code of conduct, we will reach out to all of you for your thoughts and input in this process, and we look forward to continued PS community collaboration.
We believe that a truly effective code of conduct will require periodic assessment and improvement, likely leading to future revision based on our experiences as the implementation process unfolds. The revised code therefore contains provisions for annual review and additional revision, as needed.
With the implementation of the revised code of conduct, the Paleontological Society is entering a new era in its distinguished history, and we look forward to working collaboratively with all of you in making the code a part of our day-to-day lives as paleontologists.
Bruce MacFadden, President
Dena Smith, Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Arnie Miller, Past President
Bill DiMichele, President-Elect