Code of Conduct

Conference Policies

1. Policy on Harassment and Discrimination

The SSB Standalone Meetings are intended to foster the respectful exchange of scientific ideas, providing participants with an opportunity to present research findings, establish/renew collaborations, recruit people to their laboratories, and learn, teach, and network with an international community of evolutionary biologists. The Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB) is committed to creating an environment where everyone can participate without experiencing harassment, discrimination, incivility or violence of any kind. All meeting participants must treat others with respect and consideration. Registration for the meeting is considered an agreement to abide by this code of conduct.

Harassment of others by any participant (attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider, organizer, or meeting guest) will not be tolerated. Unacceptable treatment of others includes (but is not limited to) unwanted verbal attention, unwanted touching, intimidation, stalking, shaming, or bullying. Discrimination or exclusion on the basis of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity will not be tolerated. Critiques of scientific work are appropriate and important, but presentations must be free of offensive, discriminatory or disrespectful elements, including (but not limited to) words and images that are derogatory or demeaning to individuals or groups [1]. Inappropriate comments presented in a joking manner constitute unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting inappropriate behavior is also unacceptable, as is reporting an incident in bad faith.

People wishing to report a violation of this code of conduct should contact conference organizer Emily Sessa. Incidents of inappropriate and uncivil behavior are taken extremely seriously. Confidentiality will be maintained unless disclosure is legally required.

The meeting organizers and SSB executive officers reserve the right to enforce this code of conduct in any manner deemed appropriate. Anyone violating the code of conduct may be: (a) asked to stop, (b) prohibited from posting their presentation on society- or conference-sponsored websites and outlets, (c) expelled from the meeting (without refund), and/or (d) prohibited from attending future meetings. Establishing and enforcing this code of conduct is intended to prevent incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence, and to maintain the high quality of scientific discourse that our members have come to expect from the SSB standalone meetings.

[1] Disagreements about science are normal and healthy parts of meetings. Civil and constructive criticism of someone’s work for a perceived methodological flaw or a misinterpretation of results is appropriate. Demeaning a scientist for being sloppy, misleading or stupid and other ad hominem attacks are inappropriate.

2. Policy on Liability

SSB shall not be responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of all meeting participants, and shall not be held liable for personal injury, property damage, theft or damage of any kind suffered by the participants at or in connection with the SSB standalone meeting. By registering for and attending the meeting, each participant acknowledges that they have read this Disclaimer, and expressly releases SSB and its board members, directors, officers, employees, or agents from any and all liability in connection with such meeting as provided herein.

3. Weapons Policy

For the safety of all attendees, the SSB standalone meetings are ‘weapons free’ and all conference participants, including staff, volunteers, and attendees, are banned from possessing any object or substance intended to cause injury to others, including but not limited to firearms.

4. Broadcasting Policy

The SSB standalone meetings support the communication and discussion of science. Information presented at the meeting (in oral or poster format) may be reported and discussed by attendees and science writers via blogs, Twitter, or other formats. However, we require that this be done respectfully and without direct reproduction of visual materials (e.g., no posting photos of slides or posters) unless permission is obtained from the presenter or they have already made this information freely available in an open-source forum. If a presenter does not want information from his/her presentation to be broadcast, they should make this clear in their talk/poster and we ask that attendees respect this.

If you have questions or concerns about this policy, or would like to report an abuse of it, please contact the meeting organizer, Emily Sessa.


Gainesville, FL


January 3-6th, 2020


Email: Emily Sessa