PFD Week is just around the corner, and Chicago in the early autumn is beckoning! The Program Committee has put together an outstanding lineup of all of the science, updates, addresses, and networking that you have come to expect from our annual meeting. Bring your energy, curiosity, enthusiasm, and an open mind to this exchange of expertise and ideas. Bring your concerns and your solutions to the many AUGS Volunteer meetings and activities that go on around the meeting. Bring your interests in all that the great city of Chicago can offer, especially at this time of the year. And – quick plug here – bring your checkbook: the PFD Research Foundation is hosting the first AUGS Silent Auction, where you can win some treasures or experiences, generously donated by other members, and support the ongoing scientific efforts of our own Foundation.
Please also bring the awareness that, at this and all AUGS events, you, the members, are representatives and ambassadors for AUGS. Be a model of the best kind of professional interactions, and you may help a guest understand why we find value in belonging to AUGS. Each one of you can, with a supportive comment to a presenter, a moment of mentorship for a trainee, or a respectful query from the microphone, significantly enhance and transform the experience of the entire meeting for others.
But it also only takes one ill-advised comment, a remark based on prejudice or discrimination, a gesture or advance that is inappropriate or unwelcome, to fundamentally change the experience of the event, and of the Society, for the recipient. We should not be having a conversation about what was acceptable in the past, but rather what is the image of AUGS that we want always to project.
AUGS has a Member Code of Conduct; all members have seen this document at least once, on the occasion of becoming a member. As we get ready to gather together, it makes sense to revisit this Code; it is included at the end of this message (and can always be found in its usual location on the website). In addition, the Board of Directors has also revisited it, and has added some specifics about expectations for behavior at events where AUGS members interact, in what we are calling the Meeting Code of Conduct. This code is being presented here, and will be included in the On-Site Program at the meeting itself. Please take a moment to review this code as you prepare for PFD Week; expect this level of professionalism from yourself, and from each and every attendee at the meeting.
AUGS’ Commitment to Meeting Attendees – Meeting Code of Conduct
AUGS is committed to providing a safe, professional and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment of all participants, supports diversity, and is free of harassment and discrimination.
Speakers are expected to demonstrate scientific integrity and professional ethics. AUGS recognizes that professional and well-intentioned scientists and clinicians can and do disagree; PFD Week is intended to serve as a forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration and alert staff or security of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress. This statement applies to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests at the Annual Meeting and related events.
AUGS will not tolerate any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive, whether it is based on ethnicity, gender, religion, age, body size, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. It includes stalking, unnecessary touching, and unwelcome attention. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be sure that respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting harassment is also a violation of the Code of Conduct, as is reporting an incident in bad faith. Harassment should be reported immediately to an AUGS staff member.
The On-Site materials will also include specific instructions for reporting violations of this code of conduct.
As we get ready to enjoy the fruits of the staggering amount of effort by scientists, researchers, clinicians, committees, volunteers and staff that makes PFD Week the highlight of our Society that it is, let us come prepared to demonstrate the very highest level of professionalism.
See you in Chicago!
The entire AUGS Code of Conduct can be found here.