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Code of Conduct

CES is dedicated to providing a welcoming conference experience for everyone, regardless of their personal characteristics such as: sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, race/ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, marital/relationship status, pregnancy, lactation, parenting/caring responsibilities, socio-economic status, accent/dialect and level of spoken English. 

Expectations of attendees 

We expect all attendees to treat each other with respect throughout the conferences, in both academic and social settings. We ask all attendees to pay particular consideration to power imbalances caused by social and academic hierarchies which may make it easier for some attendees than others to advocate for their own interests, and therefore be prepared to advocate for each other. For example, postgraduate students may feel unable to challenge unacceptable behaviour of senior professors due to perceived risks to their career prospects. 

We expect all debate and critical discourse to be respectful, avoiding unnecessary hostility especially in question-and-answer sessions. Please use non-judgemental language in presentations especially when discussing people and their behaviours (e.g. when discussing human mating behaviour, terms such as ‘promiscuous’ can have negative connotations in English, while the more neutral ‘multiple sexual partners’ could be used instead). We also acknowledge, and ask you to respect, that negative connotations of certain terms may vary across delegates due to language and cultural differences.

Please pay particular attention to the use of images in presentations and avoid unnecessarily sexualised images, images of study participants obtained without clear consent and other kinds of exploitative images (e.g. humans touching wild animals), bearing in mind that in some particularly culturally sensitive cases it may not be appropriate to use photographic images at all. Finally, we expect attendees to be aware of the potential for distorted interpretations of evolutionary theory to be used to reinforce racist, sexist and other discriminatory beliefs and to consider ways in which their work may be misunderstood or misappropriated by broader audiences. 

Harassment 

We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers. Harassment can occur both on- and offline and includes, for example: 

  •  Discriminatory verbal comments related to personal characteristics listed above 
  •  Behaviours which exclude other attendees from full participation in the conference based on personal characteristics listed above 
  •  Sexualised images in public spaces 
  •  Intimidation, stalking or following 
  •  Photography or video recording without consent 
  •  Sharing of presentation materials without consent 
  •  Sustained disruption of talks or other events 
  •  Inappropriate physical contact 
  •  Unwelcome sexual attention 
  •  Encouraging any of the above behaviour 

Speaker/question asking policies 

We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion during talks and question sessions. With this in mind we have adopted the following policies: 

  •  We will keep speakers strictly to time to allow sufficient time for questions 
  •  Questions will be submitted online, then pre-screened and selected by the chair 
  •  Any questions that are overly long, hostile or ‘comments not questions’ will be discarded 
  •  Encouraging those who very often ask questions, to consider asking fewer to make more space for others 

Reporting & enforcement 

We hope that everyone will behave respectfully throughout the conference and that all attendees feel welcome and valued. However. if someone makes you feel unsafe or unwelcome, you can report it to members of the EDI committee, either in person, via email, or using our online form (enabling anonymity). If you want to talk to us in person, you can approach a member of the EDI committee (identified by our badges) during the conference and we will find a quiet place to talk to you.  

If you want to make a report, please use our online form linked below, for which you can optionally include or exclude your name. Additionally, if you would like to contact one of our EDI committee members and you are happy for us to know your name, please submit an email to the conference email address. Both the form and the email will be monitored throughout the conference.  

If you report an incident to us, we will take all feasible actions to keep you safe and to prevent further harm. We will try to obtain your consent for any action we take unless the action is immediately necessary to protect the safety of you and other attendees. This could include, for example, a verbal or written warning to the perpetrator or in more serious cases, barring them from the conference. We can also help you liaise with other support services when appropriate. We will treat your report in the strictest confidence unless there is a need to break confidentiality due to a risk of serious harm to you or others.  

Committee members & contact details 

 Conference email address – ces.2024@durham.ac.uk 

EDI Committee members:

Dr Sally Street – sally.e.street@durham.ac.uk  

Dr Bruce Rawlings – bruce.rawlings@durham.ac.uk  

Ms Sarah Wright – sarah.wright2@durham.ac.uk  

Ms Ellie Donnelly – helen.m.donnelly@durham.ac.uk  

The link to the incident report form will be posted here once available.

Resources consulted: 

CES 2018, 2020, 2022 codes of conduct 

EHBEA 2023 code of conduct: https://www.cambridge.org/core/membership/ehbea/principals-and-ethics  

Diversity in Academia: https://diversityinacademia.mystrikingly.com/#infographic-academic-seminars  

Arcus Foundation Best Practice Guidelines for responsible images of nonhuman primates: https://www.arcusfoundation.org/publications/best-practice-guidelines-for-responsible-images-of-nonhuman-primates/