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BioC2019 Code of Conduct violation response

Traducción al español

This statement is in response to a complaint of sexual harassment made to the BioC2019 Code of Conduct committee after the BioC2019 conference. A BioC2019 conference attendee reported unwelcome sexual attention and inappropriate physical contact from an intoxicated conference attendee, during a social gathering of conference attendees. Since the time when the complaint was made the Committee has followed up with the complainant, the accused, and others present, and sought external advice from persons outside the organization to define procedures to make appropriate decisions to deal with this and future reports of violation of the code of conduct. The committee decided on the following actions:

The Code of Conduct Committee undertook these actions with the goal of maintaining a welcoming and harassment-free environment at future conferences. With this goal in mind, we wish to remind all participants that:

People generally participate in Bioconductor conferences for professional or academic interest, and expect to interact with colleagues on the primary basis of shared interests in open-source Bioinformatics. Unwanted sexual attention, and other actions forbidden by the Code of Conduct, deny others of this experience. The Code of Conduct committee encourages all conference participants to review the Code of Conduct and to enjoy their time at the conference while remembering their responsibility to maintain a supportive, collegial, and harassment-free conference experience for everyone. Anyone experiencing or witnessing a Code of Conduct violation should report it either to, a member of the Code of Conduct committee, or anonymously at

This complaint was handled by the Bioconductor Code of Conduct Committee (Levi Waldron, Aedin Culhane, Laurent Gatto, Stephanie Hicks) and this response was approved by the Bioconductor Technical Advisory Board.

BioC2019 Code of Conduct

Social media policy

Images and content from talks, workshops, and posters may be shared publicly through social media unless the presenter asks for it not to be. To avoid confusion, presentations not to be shared should be labeled “Do Not Share” on each slide, as should be posters.

The Bioconductor conference aims to provide a supportive, collegial, and harassment-free environment

Bioconductor is dedicated to providing a supportive, collegial, and harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of:

We do not tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying of conference participants in talks, workshops, poster sessions, social activities, or online. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference with no refund, at the discretion of the conference organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at: []

Examples of unacceptable harassment, intimidation, and bullying behavior

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

Intimidation and bullying include, but are not limited to:


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event organisers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Event organisers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities. We think people should follow these rules outside event activities too!


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

You can make a report either personally or anonymously.

Anonymous or Non-anonymous Report

You can make an anonymous or non-anonymous report here: []. It is a free-form text box that will be forwarded to conference organizers.

We can’t follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Personal Report

You can make a personal report with any of the conference anti-harassment committee: Aedin Culhane, Levi Waldron, and Laurent Gatto.

When taking a personal report, our staff will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we’ll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You won’t be asked to confront anyone and we won’t tell anyone who you are.

Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

Conference organizers:
Anonymous complaints:
Local law enforcement: 911
Local sexual assault hot line: 212-227-3000
Photo Name
Aedin Culhane <>
Levi Waldron <>
Laurent Gatto <>