Task Force on Scientific Ethics

The Chair of the Ethics Committee coordinates AGU’s investigations of scientific misconduct.  The past Past President of AGU will serve as the Chair.

The Ethics Committee reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for investigating allegations that are deemed by the Chair of the Ethics Committee to be substantial and thereby require investigation. The Ethics Committee will consist of members involved in outreach, meetings, and publications, and additionally, one Editor from the following three categories: AGU Editors-in-Chief, Editors, and Associate Editors.  Additional members may be added to a specific investigation to provide subject matter expertise pursuant to the allegation.  The Chair will name one of the committee members as the Vice Chair to assist and serve as Chair in the event of conflict of interest or if the Chair cannot serve for other reasons.  Members will serve for two years and will be nominated from their respective committees and the community of Editors.  Because of their other substantial responsibilities, committee chairs should not be considered for nomination.  The AGU President will work with the Chair of the Ethics Committee to review nominations and finalize the membership of the Ethics Committee.

The Board of Directors has the final authority to determine what actions will be taken if an allegation of scientific misconduct is found to be substantiated.

Michael McPhaden, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle Washington

Alexander Bryan, Amherst, Massachusetts
Catherine Chauvel, University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Michael Coe, Woods Hole Research Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Cathy Constable, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California
Aisling Dolan, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Andrea Donnellan, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Tim Elliott, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom (pending)
Linda Gundersen, Ocean View, Delaware
Eileen Hofmann, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
Mary Anne Holmes, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
Ashanti Johnson, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas
Erika Marin-Spiotta, University of Wisconsin, Madison
John Melack, University of California, Santa Barbara, California
David Mogk, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
Mark Moldwin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Elise Pendall, Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia
Niescja Turner, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Staff Liaison 
Billy Williams
Randy Townsend


Task Force Charge

The AGU Ethics Task Force will report to the AGU Council and Board and will be chaired by the AGU Ethics Chair. The Charge of this Ethics Task Force is to:

  1. Review the current state of AGU Ethics policy and practices as they relate to the issue of harassment and work-climate issues, especially in comparison to leading practices of other professional/scholarly societies and the needs of AGU members;
  2. As appropriate, recommend updates and revisions to AGU’s current Ethics Policy to explicitly add code of conduct principles related to harassment and work-climate issues; and to explicitly address the code of conduct expectations for all AGU members, regardless of whether the member is an AGU volunteer leader or not;
  3. Review the AGU Meetings Code of Conduct, and other such policies, for any updates needed related to potential AGU Ethics Policy changes;
  4. Review and recommend whether and under what circumstances the AGU ethics policy may extend to member egregious conduct that takes place outside of AGU functions;
  5. Review the existing AGU processes for filing ethics complaints, conducting investigations, and imposing disciplinary sanctions, to determine whether an update or additional guidance is needed for these processes related to harassment or work-climate issues;
  6. Review and recommend how ethics and member code-of-conduct issues should be addressed in AGU Honors and Awards considerations;
  7. Recommend any additional considerations for AGU to educate its members more broadly on the issue of harassment, provide additional resources or guidance for addressing the issue, and support members who may be targets of harassment or other hostile workplace conduct.

The Task Force is asked to begin its work by mid-June 2016, and provide preliminary recommendations to AGU Council and Board by December 2016. The Task Force will complete its work by June 2017. Membership for the Task Force will be targeted for 12-16 participants, to be drawn from a broad cross-section of AGU. It will also include representation of subject matter experts from other institutions or organizations, and representation from a scientific society with specific protocols for addressing conduct outside of that society’s programs. The Task Force will include no less than 3 current members of AGU Council or Board, minimum 2 student or early-career AGU members, minimum 4 members from outside the U.S., and at least one member from the original AGU Ethics Task Force.