Code of Conduct

Alligatoroid skull,  Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, photo credit: C. A. Brochu

Code of Conduct

SVP Event Code of Conduct (Revised, 2020)

SVP is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and SVP staff. We value the presentations and attendance of diverse scientists from a range of backgrounds and experiences and commit to maintaining a harassment-free environment for everyone. Accordingly, we require that all participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, presenters, volunteers, exhibitors, SVP staff, and service providers abide by this SVP Meeting Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all SVP meeting-related events (both online and in person), including those sponsored by organizations other than SVP but held in conjunction with SVP events outside of the Annual Meeting virtual environment.

Expected Behavior

Treat one another with respect, consideration, and dignity regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, immigration status, disability, neurodiverse status, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, socioeconomic background, educational background, career stage, or military service.

  • Questions and discussions should be respectful and constructive and focus on ideas rather than individuals.
  • Comments or behaviors that may reasonably be assumed to have the effect of creating, contributing to, or maintaining an environment that is hostile toward or damaging to a person or group are prohibited, no matter whether they are made directly (e.g., in person or directly online) or indirectly (e.g., via social media).
  • Do not use legal intoxicants to the extent that your ability to act professionally and follow this Code of Conduct is compromised.
  • Do not take or disseminate photographs, recordings, or reproductions of materials presented as part of the Annual Meeting without express permission of the author(s).
  • Obey the rules and policies of any SVP-contracted facilities or services utilized during the meeting or anywhere your SVP badge/affiliation is on display.

Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Retaliation against any individual who reports harassment or assists in an investigation will not be tolerated and is also subject to disciplinary action.

How can I report a complaint?

Complaints of harassment or retaliation should be e-mailed to If you witness a crime or behavior that is an immediate threat to public safety, make sure you are safe and then call emergency services (e.g., 911 in the USA).

How are reports handled?

Complaints will be handled by the Vice President and reported to the President and the Executive Director. If any of these individuals should be the subject of the complaint, the other SVP officers will be notified. The VP or other officers designated by the President, the President and Past President will determine whether the matter requires additional investigation. Investigations will be carried out by the VP and an impartial investigator, who may interview the alleged offender and any relevant witnesses. Investigations will be reported to the President and Past President who will recommend appropriate action, including, where advisable, consultation with legal counsel. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others or the need to conduct an adequate investigation and to the extent allowed by law. The determination will be promptly communicated to the complainant and alleged offender. SVP reserves the right to take preliminary action to protect our members, including removing an attendee from the event pending full investigation and resolution of the complaint.


In the Society’s sole discretion, sanctions may include, but are not limited to, a written warning, ejection from the meeting environment, reporting to the offender’s home institution and other penalties without refund of any applicable registration fees or other costs. Repeat offense or especially serious offenses may result in bans from future meetings or revocation of membership in SVP. If the determination is made to terminate the membership of any person, the applicable provisions of the Bylaws, including procedural requirements, will be followed.


An individual who has been sanctioned under this Code may submit a written appeal to the SVP Executive Committee and may be granted at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Any questions regarding the Code or its execution should be directed to a member of the Executive Committee.