Please continue reading for a statement from the SSE Council regarding the investigation of one of our long-time members, Dr. Francisco Ayala, and the SSE Code of Conduct.
Dear SSE members,
The SSE Council has recently learned that one of our long-time members, Dr. Francisco Ayala, has been investigated for sexual harassment at the University of California, Irvine. The University investigated and "substantiated a number of sexual harassment claims against Francisco J. Ayala.”1, including “unwanted touching and sexually based language and statements”2. These behaviors violate the Code of Conduct of the Society for the Study of Evolution3. They are harmful to everyone and negatively impact feelings of respect, safety and inclusiveness.
The current SSE Code of Conduct describes behaviors that will not be tolerated at our meetings and events, as well as procedures that will be used to identify perpetrators and sanction inappropriate behavior.3 The Ayala case raises the issue of how SSE should respond to cases involving SSE members that occur elsewhere. The SSE Council is now working to develop a policy that will apply to sexual harassment cases involving actions outside of SSE sponsored events when SSE members, leaders or awardees (past or present) are involved. Comments and suggestions regarding such a policy are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Society for the Study of Evolution