Sexual Assault at the Smithsonian. Unacceptable Texas Tech. @mbalter @verge @nmnh @texastech
(Photo: Elephant Centerpiece, Smithsonian Natural History Museum - Washington DC)
Sexual Assault at the Smithsonian. Unacceptable Texas Tech. @mbalter Michael Balter, @verge. @nmnh @texastech
Over the past year, numerous sexual harassment scandals have surfaced in the sciences. Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley, was found guilty of kissing and groping his female students. (Marcy resigned his position when the story broke in BuzzFeed.) Jason Lieb, a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago, was said to have made unwanted sexual advances to graduate students; he also resigned. Caltech astronomer Christian Ott was suspended for harassment, a first in the university’s history. A paleoanthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History, Brian Richmond, was repeatedly investigated for sexual misconduct. Angie’s story is an example of how systemic sexism in the sciences leaves many administrators ill-prepared to deal with victims of sexual misconduct.
All of the administrators involved at the NMNH we contacted have declined to comment, citing confidentiality rules, even though both Angie and Pinto have told their stories publicly. (Angie is using a pseudonym to protect her privacy, to avoid retaliation, and so she will be known for her research and not her status as a sexual assault victim.)