Meetings Code of Conduct for Events

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among CSSP members and the broader scientific community, and is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants of CSSP events. CSSP events are planned in order to serve as an effective forum to address leadership responsibilities within scientific societies and to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. This Code of Conduct is important to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment for all peoples.

All CSSP event participants – including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, members of the media, vendors, and service providers (hereinafter “participants”) – are expected to abide by this CSSP Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies in all venues and on all virtual platforms, including ancillary events and social gatherings, and on-line forums and discussions associated with the CSSP.  All participants attending any CSSP event voluntarily agree to abide by the CSSP Code of Conduct.

COVID-19 Safety: Before, During and After the event

  • Follow relevant guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization or any local health authority.
  • Adhere to current government issued travel restrictions and guidance within the regions to, from and through which you will be traveling.
  • Evaluate your own health and that of people with whom you are in close contact. Alert CSSP organizers of any concerns that may arise.
  • Please report any health issues to CSSP should they happen following the event. All reports will remain anonymous when shared with other participants. 
  • Each person at an in person CSSP event assumes any health risks associated with participation.
  • Please do not attend if you feel sick.

Expected Behavior

  • Treat all participants with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).
  • Communicate openly, with respect for other participants, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other participants.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert CSSP staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting location and all CSSP-contracted facilities, including restaurants, hotels, museums, or any other venue.

Unacceptable Behavior                                                         

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. Harassment includes unwelcome or personally offensive speech or behavior. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be certain respect is communicated.
    • Unacceptable behavior can include harassment intended in a joking manner.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:
    • Physical or verbal abuse of any participant, either spoken or posted on social media;
    • Unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or exclusionary behavior related to age, appearance or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion;
    • Inappropriate physical contact;
    • Unwanted sexual attention;
    • Use of sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations;
    • Deliberate intimidation or stalking, or following;
    • Taking photographs or recording of anyone’s oral presentation without the explicit permission of that individual or of CSSP.  Any harassing photography or recording;  
    • Sustained disruption of talks or other activities during events;
    • Bullying behavior;
    • Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior.

Immediate serious threat to public safety

  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notifying facility security and CSSP staff.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, have witnessed any such behavior, or have other concerns, please notify a CSSP staff member (as soon as possible) who can work with appropriate CSSP leadership to resolve the situation. All reports will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.
  • To report incidents you can contact CSSP at [email protected], or call CSSP at 202-872-6023. 
  • Once CSSP is notified staff will discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then any witnesses who have been identified, and then the alleged offender before determining an appropriate course of action.
  • Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.
  • All reports will be taken seriously and will be investigated. The outcomes of the investigations and subsequent sanctions will not be made public, however, those reporting incidents will be informed of the outcome.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • CSSP staff (or their designee) or onsite security may take any immediate action deemed necessary and appropriate, including removal from the meeting or event without warning or refund.
  • The matter may be referred to the CSSP Board for consideration of further consequences, which may include prohibition from attending future events.

For any questions about this policy, please email CSSP at [email protected] or call 202-872-6023.