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AAAS Event Policies

Health and Safety Guidelines for AAAS Events

AAAS seeks to provide a safe and healthy environment at our meetings and events. Based on the latest scientific evidence on COVID-19, we strongly recommend the following guidelines for all participants, including, but not limited to, presenters, attendees, exhibitors, staff, and guests:

  • Ensure your COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date, including the latest boosters.
  • Take a COVID-19 test no more than 24 hours before your attendance (regardless of your vaccination status), and do not attend any in-person events if you test positive or have symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Wear a mask in crowded indoor settings.
  • Follow all health and safety protocols required by federal, state, and local public health authorities.
  • Stay abreast of CDC’s latest guidelines for protecting yourself from COVID-19.

AAAS follows all local, state, and federal guidelines, but we reserve the right to impose more stringent requirements at our meetings and events. Because guidelines and recommendations are regularly being updated, AAAS may make changes to our policies and practices on limited notice as circumstances develop.

By registering for and participating in any AAAS-sponsored event, I acknowledge and understand the following:

1. Participation in the event includes possible exposure to and illness from infectious diseases including but not limited to COVID-19. While particular rules and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious illness and death does exist and may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of AAAS employees, event participants, vendors, and those coming into contact with those individuals;

2. I agree to comply with all infectious disease protocols, including any COVID-19 protocols, established by AAAS in connection with the event, including any distancing or mask requirements as and if applicable;

3. I understand that, although AAAS can put mechanisms in place to minimize the risk of infectious diseases, AAAS cannot eliminate the risks associated with its events. I knowingly and freely assume all such risks related to illness and infectious diseases, such as COVID-19;

4. I hereby knowingly assume the risk of injury, harm, and loss associated with the event, including any injury, harm, and loss caused by the negligence, fault, or conduct of any kind on the part of AAAS.

Code of Conduct for AAAS Events

AAAS is committed to providing a safe and productive environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration and alert staff of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress.

Speakers are expected to uphold standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics. This includes notifying AAAS staff in advance of the meeting or event about any possible conflicts of interest. AAAS recognizes that there are areas of science that are controversial.

The AAAS Annual Meeting and other AAAS meetings and events can serve as effective fora to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. The policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests at the Annual Meeting and other AAAS meetings and events.

The following represent types of behaviors that will not be tolerated during the AAAS Annual Meeting and other AAAS meetings and events:

  • intentionally talking over or interrupting others
  • engaging in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, harassing, or hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest, based on sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, physical appearance, disability, power differential, or other identities
  • engaging in personal attacks of any kind
  • commenting on personal appearance • retaliation against reporting of conduct concerns or assisting in conflict resolutions
  • disruption of the event (e.g., “Zoom-bombing”) or engaging in harm or threats of harm of any kind
  • producing or distributing audio or visual recordings of the event in any medium
  • producing or distributing photographs of presentations or materials
  • engaging in any of the above behaviors on social media in relation to the event or related events

Virtual meetings are different than in-person gatherings. AAAS expects all participants to abide by these guidelines in all fora of the meeting or event. AAAS reserves the right to remove an individual from the Annual Meeting or other AAAS meeting or event without warning or refund, prohibit attendance at future meetings or events, and notify the individual’s employer.

Reporting Harassment/Misconduct

If an individual experiences or witnesses harassment or misconduct and wishes to file a formal report, they should contact AAAS Meetings staff at or (202) 326-6450. All complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially and responded to promptly. If an individual experiences or witnesses harassment or misconduct, it is recommended that, in addition to notifying AAAS Meetings staff, they write down the details. They are not expected to discuss the incident with the offending party. Their confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.

Related Scientific Disciplines