Durham-Edinburgh eXtragalactic Workshop

6th - 7th January 2020

Code of Conduct

The Durham-Edinburgh Extragalactic Meeting (DEX) is a community conference intended for networking and collaboration in the professional astronomy, and astrophysics community. We value the participation of each member of the community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout the conference and at all conference events. Although DEX is being held in Durham and hosted by the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA) and the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) which have a common Code of Conduct, this is not primarily aimed at meetings. To make clear what is expected at DEX XVI, all delegates, attendees, speakers, organisers and volunteers at any DEX event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct. This is aligned with the CEA/ICC Code of Conduct, but is expanded and tailored to a DEX event. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) will enforce this code throughout the event.


DEX is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, disability, race, religion or physical appearance. We will not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Behave professionally. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, ableist or other exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for DEX. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference at the sole discretion of the LOC.

Thank you for helping make DEX a welcoming, friendly event for all.


The LOC consider harassment to include offensive comments, gestures and behaviour related to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome intrusions of personal space or sexual attention. Conduct can be harassment even if it was not intended to violate the recipient’s dignity, if it had that effect. A single incident may amount to harassment if it is sufficiently serious. Conduct normally becomes harassment if it persists once it has been made clear that the behaviour is regarded as offensive. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.

Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Offensive jokes and excessive swearing are not appropriate for DEX. If a participant engages in behaviour that violates this Code of Conduct, the LOC may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the meeting.


If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the LOC. A full list of LOC members can be found at the foot of the homepage. LOC staff will also be wearing badges with red borders.


The impact on an individual and whether the behaviour is unacceptable by normal standards will be the focus. If you experience behaviour that breaches this Code of Conduct and feel comfortable calling attention to it at the time, please do so. Resolving issues early and informally is usually preferable for everyone concerned. Often, people are unaware that their behaviour is perceived as harassment, discrimination or bullying, and in these cases taking prompt informal action can be particularly effective.

Keep in mind that all members of the LOC will be wearing a conference badge with a red border and the word “LOC” on it. Report any harassment incident (preferably in writing) to a LOC member. Please do not disclose public information about the incident until the LOC have had sufficient time in which to address the situation. This is for the safety and protection of those affected. When reporting the event, try to recall as much information as possible about the incident.

Note: Incidents that violate the Code of Conduct are extremely damaging to the community, and they will not be tolerated. The LOC requests that they be your first resource when reporting a DEX-related incident, so that they may enforce the Code of Conduct and take quick action toward a resolution. Awareness and reporting of these incidents present a chance for the offenders, and the community at large, to grow, learn, and become better.

A listing of LOC members can be found at the foot of the homepage.


Be sure to have a good understanding of our Code of Conduct policy. Also have a good understanding of what is expected from an attendee that wants to report an incident of harassment. Deal with any potential cases of harassment with discretion, but do not promise confidentiality as that cannot be always guaranteed.

Try to get as much of the incident in written form by the reporter. If you cannot, transcribe it yourself as it was told to you. The important information to gather include the following:

  • Identifying information (name) of the perpetrator(s) of the harassment
  • The behaviour that was in violation
  • The approximate time and location of the behaviour (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident
  • The identity and role of the victim and (if not the same person) the individual making the report

Prepare an initial response to the incident. This initial response is very important and will set the tone for DEX. Depending on the severity/details of the incident, please follow these guidelines:

  • Offer the victim a private place to sit
  • Ask "is there a friend or trusted person who you would like to be with you?" (if so, arrange for someone to try and locate this person)
  • Ask them "how can I help?"
  • If everyone is presently physically safe, involve the police or security only at a victim's request There are also some guidelines as to what not to do as an initial response:
  • Do not overtly invite them to withdraw the complaint or mention that withdrawal is OK. This suggests that you want them to do so, and is therefore coercive.
  • Do not ask for their advice on how to deal with the complaint. This is the LOC's responsibility.
  • Do not offer them input into penalties. This is the LOC's responsibility.

Once something is reported to a LOC member, immediately meet with other LOC members. The main objectives of this meeting are to find out the following:

  • What happened?
  • Are we doing anything about it?
  • Who is doing those things?
  • When are they doing them?

After the LOC meeting and discussion, have a LOC member or members communicate with the alleged harasser. Make sure to inform them of what has been reported about them. Allow the alleged harasser to give their side of the story to the staff. After this point, if the report stands, let the alleged harasser know what actions will be taken against them.

Some possible actions/responses for the LOC to consider when dealing with Code of Conduct offenders:

  • Warning the harasser to cease their behaviour and that any further reports will result in sanctions
  • Requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event
  • Not publishing any material that violated the policy
  • Not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event
  • Immediately ending any event responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds
  • Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return

Give accused attendees an opportunity to appeal, but in the meantime the report stands. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to encourage an apology from the harasser.

It is very important how we deal with the incident publicly. Our policy is to make sure that everyone aware of the initial incident is also made aware that it is not according to policy and that official action has been taken - while still respecting the privacy of individual attendees. When speaking to individuals (those who are aware of the incident, but were not involved with the incident) about the incident it is a good idea to keep the details out.

A list of Local Organising Committee members can be found at the foot of the Welcome page.


This Code of Conduct was adapted from the NAM 2019 Code of Conduct.