American Psychosomatic Society
Code of Conduct for Society Events and Activities
Core ethical values upheld by members of the American Psychosomatic Society (APS) community include equity, honesty, integrity, transparency, and justice. These values guide the standards of conduct of APS members who are responsible for carrying out the charge of the Society: To advance and integrate the scientific study of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors in health and disease. In addition to understanding the antiracism position of APS, its solidarity with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and abiding by the Code of Conduct for Events and Activities, representing APS as a member who is guided by its core ethical values entails a commitment to act in ways that:
1) Promote equity in APS by supporting, encouraging, and advocating for fair access to professional opportunities within the APS organization and its community, as well as defending against the unequal treatment of APS members.
2) Maintain honesty in APS by the truthful and accurate representation of one's own scientific and professional qualifications and one’s contributions by avoiding actions that mislead others or misrepresent one's work or competencies as an APS member.
3) Ensure integrity in APS by refraining from behaviors that are guided by self-interest to the detriment of others or actions that abuse the privileges of APS membership, as well as by recognizing, avoiding, and, where appropriate, publicly declaring conflicts of interest.
4) Present and share scientific and clinical information with transparency and without bias in the forums, outlets, activities, and meetings of APS.
5) Uphold principles of justice within the APS community by acting in ways that do not exploit, harass, bully, discriminate against, or unfairly treat others.
Code of Conduct for Society Events and Activities
Guided by its Ethical Principles, APS is committed to providing an atmosphere in its forums, outlets, activities, and meetings where personal respect and intellectual growth are valued and the free expression and exchange of ideas are protected and encouraged. Accordingly, APS strives to welcome and support people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, skin color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
APS forums, outlets, activities, and meetings of APS include any gathering, formal and informal, under the auspices of the APS, including in-person and virtual meetings, online forums, such as APS Collaborates, APS social media exchanges among members, and other activities. Participants of APS activities—whether official or unofficial—agree to comply with all rules and conditions of the activities.
Registration for, attendance at, or participation in any APS activity indicates an agreement to abide by the APS Code of Conduct, per the conditions of Article III, Section 5 of the APS bylaws. Hence, to preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, APS reserves the right to suspend or terminate participation for anyone who violates the Code of Conduct.
Behavior that is inappropriate in the workplace is inappropriate in the context of APS forums, outlets, activities, and its meetings. Hence, participants in APS activities are expected to model and support the norms of professional respect necessary to promote the conditions for healthy exchange of scientific ideas. General APS behavioral conduct guidelines are outlined below.
- Social Media: APS is aware that participants in APS activities may want to communicate scientific and clinical findings and comment on them to an audience. These communications may occur in real-time, such that an individual is providing a running description or commentary on an event (e.g., a presentation) as it is occurring. If you are a presenter in an APS activity and do not want your picture, slides or information to be shared on social media, please mention that to the audience before your presentation.
- Photography: By participating in APS activities (e.g., Annual Meeting), attendees consent to be photographed, with the understanding that those images may be used in APS documents, publications and/or on the website. If you prefer to not have your image used by APS, please contact email@example.com. We encourage you to ask permission before taking photographs or making any kind of recordings of individuals or small groups. Please don’t use photos or recordings for commercial purposes without express consent of conference planners.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages may be provided at some evening APS events. Alcohol will only be distributed by commercial hosts following local and state statutes, which may include limiting consumption. Alcohol may not be brought into APS-sponsored events nor may alcohol be consumed by those not of legal age. Because excessive alcohol leads to impaired decision-making, APS discourages excessive drinking at any point during the meeting.
- Harassment: APS is dedicated to maintaining a harassment–free experience for all participants in APS activities. APS will not tolerate harassment in its community in any form. Harassment includes any behavior that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile, disparaging, or offensive. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Verbal or written comments and negative behavior, either in real or virtual space, including those which are related to or are based upon gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion (or lack thereof), nationality or other group identity
- Deliberate discriminatory language and threatening behavior, including intimidation and stalking
- Harassing photography or recording
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events
- Unwelcome physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual attention, including unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy, such as sexual advances
- Inclusion of unnecessary sexually explicit, violent, or otherwise inappropriate materials in presentations
- Posting (or threatening to post), without permission, other people’s personally identifying information online, including on social networking sites
- Personal insults including, but not limited to, those using racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic terms
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that behavior is unwanted and offensive. Oftentimes, the offender and offended will resolve the incident by having that initial discussion. Participants in APS activities who are asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If someone engages in harassing behavior, the APS activity or meeting organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from the APS activity with no refund and/or banning the offender from future APS events.
APS recognizes that there are many reasons that speaking directly to the offender may not be an option for you. If you do not feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender for any reason, seek out an APS activity organizer, APS officer or APS staff member. To make a personal report of harassment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You may designate any part of your report as confidential.
At the APS’s sole discretion as stated in Article III, Section 5 of the bylaws, unacceptable behavior or violations of the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct may result in removal from or denial of membership and/or access to meeting facilities or activities, without refund of any applicable dues, registration fees or costs. In addition, the APS reserves the right to report violations to an individual’s employer or institution or to a law-enforcement agency. Those engaging in unacceptable behavior may also be banned from future APS membership and/or activities or face additional sanctions.
If you have experienced or are aware of violations of the APS’s Code of Conduct, please email email@example.com.