Code of Conduct

BEACON Congress is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. We expect professional courtesy in communications between BEACON Congress participants. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled at the discretion of the organizers.


Even though BEACON Congress is not in person this year, we take seriously any allegations or evidence of harassment from participants. Examples of harassment include but are not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination: e.g. related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion.

  • Sexual images in public spaces

  • Racial or racist stereotypes

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following, including virtual

  • Harassing photography or recording

  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events

  • Unwelcome sexual attention

  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

BEACON Congress has no tolerance for these types of harassing behaviors. If you feel unsafe or harassed at BEACON Congress, even if your concern does not fit into one of the bullet points above, please raise your concerns.

Please note that marginalized individuals speaking up about issues and actions that affect them and contribute to marginalization are NOT harassment.


Adapted from Evolution: 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 by using words such as "sloppy" or "stupid" and other ad hominem attacks are inappropriate.

We expect participants to extend professional courtesy to one another. Examples of unacceptable and unprofessional behavior include:

  • Denigrating the researcher or presenter, or denigrating their work (scientific critique is allowed and encouraged; questioning the value of their work is not)

  • Name-calling and patronizing language

  • Interrupting presenters or those asking questions

Note that expectations of professional behavior do NOT mean that participants must regulate their language or tone to conform to common academic standards, so long as they are extending appropriate professional courtesy. BEACON recognizes that academic tone-policing upholds racist and sexist structures in academic settings, and encourages people to voice their science and their concerns authentically.

Participants should also be aware of the power dynamics between each other and recognize that unequal power dynamics often increase the effect of words and behaviors. For example, a senior scientist should be especially aware of how criticism of the work of a junior scientist may affect that junior scientist’s experience at the meeting. BEACON rejects the idea that it is necessary to have a 'thick skin' to be a scientist.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately, regardless of who asks them to stop. If someone asks you to stop a behavior because it is making another participant feel unsafe or unwelcome, please recognize that while that may not have been your intent, it was the result. It is your responsibility to reflect on that behavior.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior or unprofessional conduct, event organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from BEACON Congress.

Event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities. We think people should follow these rules outside event activities too!


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. See below for avenues for reporting.

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

If you do not feel comfortable immediately reporting harassment or other code of conduct violations, we will continue to accept reports after the end of BEACON Congress.

You can make a report either personally or anonymously.

Anonymous Report:

You can make an anonymous report here:

We can't follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Personal report:

You can make a personal report to any of our BEACON Congress organizers or other BEACON leadership.

BEACON Congress Organizers:

Other Contacts:

When taking a personal report, you won't be asked to confront anyone and we won't tell anyone who you are.

Our team will be happy to help you contact local support services or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.