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Women in Astronomy

Obscene Phone Calls and Emails

5 Aug 2015, 11:00 UTC
Obscene Phone Calls and Emails
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Today’s guest blogger is Maura McLaughlin. Maura has been a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University since 2006. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2001 and did postdoctoral research at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory for five years before coming to WVU. She is a Cottrell Scholar, a Sloan Fellow, and serves as Co-Director of a recently awarded NSF Physics Frontiers Center.  I’ve been dealing with sexual harassment via phone calls and email by an astronomer, and I believe this originated with a colloquium that I gave in the spring. The harassment continued for months, culminating in me reporting it to his university, but no evidence was found and the case was dismissed. I remain incredibly frustrated, and also scared, and hope that by writing this post I might identify others who are victims of harassment by this same person. I have provided a lot of detail in this post, as I think it will be helpful, but have not included the name of the university or astronomer who I believe is responsible, as I know these allegations carry serious repercussions. The months-long incident started when I gave a colloquium ...

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