In This Section

Code of Conduct


ASPET is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment.   Accordingly, this Code of Conduct (hereafter the “Code”) is intended to promote a culture of inclusion, respect, and professionalism and to remind our members to be cognizant of the fact that they are always representing ASPET.

The Code contains the following sections:

  1. To Whom, Where, and What the Code Applies
  2. Jurisdiction for Jointly Hosted Meetings
  3. Desired and Expected Behavior
  4. Unacceptable Behavior
  5. Potential Consequences for Violating the Code
  6. Instructions for Reporting Violations
  7. Process Following Receipt of Report

I. To Whom, Where, and What the Code Applies

ASPET expects all members, staff, meeting attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and contractors at ASPET and ASPET-related activities and events to abide by the Code. 

ASPET and ASPET-related events include, but are not limited to, programs, meetings, ancillary events, and official and unofficial social gatherings, regardless of venue.

Additionally, activities and communications conducted via teleconferences, web meetings, ASPETConnect, social media, e-mail, and US mail are subject to the Code.

II. Jurisdiction for Jointly Hosted Meetings

When ASPET holds its meetings as part of Experimental Biology (EB) or other partnerships, the EB or lead partner's code of conduct may be enforced in addition to the ASPET code and all terms will apply.

III. Desired and Expected Behavior

ASPET expects that all individuals who are subject to the Code will:

  • always conduct themselves professionally
  • act with integrity
  • comply with laws
  • treat others with respect
  • be inclusive and considerate

IV.‎ Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • harassment
  • personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms
  • threats of violence or actual physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping)
  • discriminatory jokes and language
  • intimidating, abusive, or demeaning speech or actions
  • unwelcome sexual attention
  • inappropriate use or sharing of nudity, sexually explicit or violent material electronically or by other means (including presentation slides, exhibit booths, and other forms of electronic or non-electronic displays)
  • harassing personal photography or recording
  • photographing or recording scientific data where expressly forbidden
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm
  • retaliating against an individual for reporting unacceptable behavior
  • falsely reporting unacceptable behavior
  • excessive swearing and offensive jokes

Please note that harassment committed in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior, and sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you.

V.‎ Potential ‏Consequences for Violating the Code

If an individual engages in unacceptable behavior, ASPET reserves the right to take any action deemed appropriate including, but not limited to, removing an individual from activities or events without warning or refund, prohibiting an individual from attendance at future activities or events, and, depending on the nature of the violation, notifying the individual’s employer of the action taken.

In the case of a member who has breached scientific ethical standards or who takes actions that are deemed to be not in the best interests of ASPET, the Council may initiate expulsion, consistent with Section 3 of the Bylaws. Council shall consider the available facts and decide by a majority vote either to proceed or not. If Council decides to proceed with expulsion, the member shall be notified and given an opportunity for a hearing before Council, to be held no sooner than 30 days and no later than 60 days following such notification. The hearing may occur in person or by teleconference and requires a quorum of Council members. After the hearing, the participating Council members will vote, and a two-thirds majority of those voting is required for expulsion. If the member declines the hearing, expulsion shall be automatic.

VI. Instructions for Reporting Violations

If you are being subjected to, or notice that someone else is being subjected to, behavior that violates the Code, please contact 

Additionally, we ask that you alert event leaders, in a timely manner, of situations involving potential or perceived danger, someone in distress, or violations of this Code, even if they seem inconsequential.

If possible, provide the following information, preferably in writing:

  • Your name and affiliation with ASPET
  • Identifying information (name if known or other identifying information) of the individual engaging in unacceptable behavior
  • The nature of the behavior
  • The date and approximate time it occurred (if different than the date and time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witnessing the incident

If needed or requested, staff will help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of an ASPET event.

VII. Process Following Receipt of Report

  1. Investigation. All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.  Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others. The complainant will be notified of final disposition of the matter.
  2. Grievances. Individuals who feel they have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code will have an opportunity to respond to the investigator in writing.

Last Updated: July 28, 2022

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