Gender-based harassment: Letter of support
This message was originally posted on the APS Topical Group in Gravitation (GGR) on Facebook by Anna Watts, on January 23 at 11:38AM (Pacific Time): https://www.facebook.com/groups/gravityGR/permalink/565710783577107/
Since then, in 48 hours it has gained 300+ signatures/supporters. I am here posting Anna’s message on her behalf to reach a broader audience.
This letter, along with its ongoing list of supporters can be accessed at:
Below, as well as on the google doc, there are instructions on how to endorse it.
Disclaimer: the above message reflects my own opinions and not necessarily those of UCSD or any other affiliate or employer of mine.
A career in astronomy is a joy and a privilege, and one that we firmly believe should be open to all. Harassment and bullying force talent out of our field, and as such have no place in it.
Too often, the onus of reporting harassment falls on junior scientists, and we rely on their courage and fortitude to bring it to light. When this happens the rest of the scientific community has a responsibility to stand up and support them, quickly, visibly and vocally. And, as a general principle, if harassment has to cause someone to leave a collaboration or institution, the person who leaves should be the perpetrator and not the victim.
We want to offer our unqualified support and thanks to Sarah Gossan and Io Kleiser for their bravery and determination in reporting the harassment they have experienced as graduate students at Caltech. Our field is a better place for having women of this calibre in its midst. They belong. Harassment does not.
[IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CO-SIGN THIS LETTER PLEASE MAIL ANNA WATTS (A.L.Watts@uva.nl), PREFERABLY USING THE SUBJECT FIELD ‘SUPPORT LETTER’, GIVING YOUR NAME, TITLE/POSITION AND INSTITUTION AS YOU WOULD LIKE IT TO APPEAR ON THE LETTER].