People knew | Martin Robbins
...Add these snippets together, and it seems probable that the number of people within the online science community who knew about Bora’s behaviour was into double digits… a year ago.
...The trend continued through 2012, and what’s remarkable in hindsight is how nobody saw it as a problem. “How many conferences actually have a hash tag for hugging one of the organizers?” one person commented, while others joked about husbands wondering who Bora was: “Yeah, #scio12 is touchy-feely.”
Still, was it ever okay that a conference organizer was using their position in this way? As my friend Tracy King pointed out on Twitter: “if someone has a hugging policy in a professional space, his superiors need to notice and say ‘dude, creepy’.”
Staff at Scientific American were aware of a problem back in 2012, but kept it close to their chests. Private apologies were issued, wrists were quietly slapped, and a toxic status quo was preserved for another year. Its editor is now investigating behaviour that she was aware of more than year ago, but wrote off as a one-time incident. Only now are they doing what could have been done 13 months ago – asking other women about their experiences.