3 Code of Conduct

We recognize that scientific endeavors are reflective of society at large. We all possess different forms of implicit bias that affect the ways in which we relate to others and communicate with them. These implicit biases are also woven within a larger fabric of structural discrimination and prejudice that restricts many people from fully accessing the many facets of science and the academy. If we are to truly integrate everyone into our society in a meaningful context, we must move towards a position of recognizing people for their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses. We believe that when we create an open, welcoming space that explicitly acknowledges the differences among us, we can better engage with one another and create positive outcomes for all.

As such, all members of the Scheuerell Lab are expected to abide by the following Code of Conduct. This includes collaborators and visitors to the lab as well. Violations of this code are taken very seriously and will be addressed swiftly. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on characteristics that include, but are not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, citizenship, nationality, ethnic or social origin, pregnancy, familial status, veteran status, religion or (non)belief, age, education, or socio-economic status.

Note: Lab members are also expected to abide by the SAFS Code of Conduct.

3.1 Things you can do

In order to foster a positive and professional learning environment, we encourage the following kinds of behaviors:

  • show courtesy and decency toward others

  • use welcoming and inclusive language

  • listen with intent to understand

  • be respectful of different viewpoints and experiences

  • gracefully accept constructive criticism

  • be open to change

  • focus on what is best for all of us

3.2 Things you cannot do

Any form of language or behavior intended to exclude, intimidate, or cause discomfort is a violation of the Code of Conduct. This includes, but is not limited to

  • written or verbal comments that exclude people on the basis of membership in any specific group

  • sustained disruption of communications, talks or events

  • insults or put downs

  • sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or exclusionary jokes

  • excessive swearing

  • publication of private communication without consent

  • unwelcome sexual attention

  • nonconsensual or unwelcome physical contact

  • continuing to initiate interaction (including photography or recording) with someone after being asked to stop

  • the display of sexual or violent images

  • causing someone to fear for their safety, such as through stalking, following, or intimidation

  • violent threats or language directed against another person

  • incitement of others to violence, suicide, or self-harm

Members of our lab’s community who violate these rules—no matter how much they have contributed to the Scheuerell lab, or how specialized their skill set—will be approached by Mark Scheuerell.

Anyone asked to stop any inappropriate behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If any inappropriate behavior persists after a discussion with Mark, the offender will be asked to discontinue their participation in Scheuerell lab projects, meetings, or other activities.

3.3 Reporting

If you believe someone has violated the Code of Conduct, please report it to Mark who will take appropriate action to address the situation. If the incident involves Mark, or for whatever reason you are uncomfortable reporting the incident to Mark, please contact any of the following individuals:

NOTE: If you would like to report an incident, but remain anonymous, please use the SAFS online reporting form (requires a UW net-ID to access).

NOTE: There is a list of reporting and support resources Reporting and support.

3.4 Addressing conflict

Handle conflict professionally – Anywhere humans are, conflict will follow. We should expect to disagree – that’s part of living in a community. You are expected to disagree like a professional. This means:

  • Disagreements should be processed through in-person meetings – never by e-mail or text and only by Zoom/phone if an in-person meeting is impossible.

  • Assume good intentions – Most disagreements originate or are exacerbated by our perceptions of the other person’s motivations. You can take the heat out of a disagreement by assuming right off the bat that the other person has good intentions. Approach the other person with curiosity, not animosity, and you might find that your disagreement is much smaller than you thought.

  • Take a beat – If you’re feeling emotional, take some time to cool off before re-approaching a conflict. At least get a good night’s sleep: you can take the edge off of anything with some solid rest. Come back to the issue once you’ve cooled down.

  • Listen – Brené Brown says that we should “Listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard.” Keep lines of communication open so that small problems don’t snowball into big ones.

  • Own up – If you mess up, own it and apologize. Knowing how to apologize well is a powerful tool that will benefit you in life and work. Learn how to do it here.

Find more tips for handling conflict here.


Much of this content is based upon Codes of Conduct developed by the Data Carpentries.