Equitable Policies Task Force


The AAPT Event Participation Code of Conduct (CoC) was created and approved by the Board of Directors just prior to the 2016 Summer Meeting. The CoC was developed in response to the concern that some attendees were experiencing an unwelcoming environment at AAPT national meetings. Since the release of the CoC, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released the report "Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine" in 2018 with recommendations to improve the environment for women in academic STEMM careers. The Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM was launched in late 2018 to address the recommendations in the NASEM report, particularly those aimed at professional societies, and AAPT joined as an inaugural member in 2019. The Societies Consortium leadership, in partnership with Education Counsel, created a number of model policies including a Code of Conduct as well as an Honors and Awards policy. These policies, other resources, and an opportunity to network and interact with other STEMM professional societies are available to the Society Consortium's members.

It has been over 5 years since the AAPT CoC was established. It is time for a review of the CoC to incorporate best practices from the Societies Consortium and also to recommend additional policies to ensure that members of AAPT or the physics education community are held to the highest professional and ethical standards whether participating in an AAPT event, receiving an AAPT award or honor, or providing leadership in AAPT's programs and activities. The Board of Directors has approved the formation of the Equitable Policies Task Force to pursue these efforts.


  • Review the AAPT Event Participation Code of Conduct, FAQs, and adjudication procedure and recommend updates to these documents, as needed, using the road map and resources developed by the Societies Consortium as well as other documents and advice from AAPT's legal counsel when appropriate.
  • Review potential external support systems for handling reported incidents (such as Navex Global's EthicsPoint and support from AIP Talent & Culture [formerly Human Resources]) and make recommendations regarding the roles these might have in the handling of reported incidents.
  • Review the portfolio of policies available in the Societies Consortium’s library to determine if other policies should be implemented by AAPT. For example, AAPT does not currently have a policy regarding honors and awards. The Task Force should make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding policies that should be adopted and include proposed language for those policies.
  • Propose a regular review cycle for policies that are related to high standards of professional and ethical conduct. The Task Force should also recommend the governance body that is responsible for such reviews.

The Task Force should consider how best to engage the community in feedback about the current CoC and experiences during AAPT events since the CoC was put in place. The Task Force should also regularly update the community about its important work.

The Task Force should begin its work as soon as possible and use the following milestones to plan its work:

  • Summer Meeting 2022 - provide update on initial progress to Board of Directors
  • Fall 2022 Board of Directors Meeting - present revised CoC, FAQ's, and adjudication procedure to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • Winter 2023 Board of Directors Meeting - Update the Board of Directors with its work related to additional policies, support systems, and review cycle.
  • Summer 2023 Board of Directors Meeting - Task Force to present a final report to the Board of Directors outlining its recommendations.
  • Membership:

  • Janelle Bailey, Equitable Policies Task Force Chair and AAPT Past President, 2016-17
  • Beth Cunningham, AAPT CEO
  • Shahida Dar
  • Camila Manni Dias do Amaral
  • Bo Hammer
  • Natalee Hilt
  • Renee Lathrop
  • David Jones
  • Mel Sabella
  • Deborah Roudebush - Former Member