ESA Code of Conduct

The Entomological Society of America has a clear code of conduct for all our professional meetings. Here is the 2020 version, which was updated this year to address conduct in virtual situations.

Harassment and Safety: ESA is dedicated to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone attending our events, regardless of ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It is important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is neither healthy nor productive. Accordingly, ESA prohibits intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct during our conferences. This policy applies to speakers, staff, volunteers, and attendees. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference, at the discretion of ESA leadership.

Harassment of ESA participants will not be tolerated in any form. Harassment includes offensive gestures or verbal comments related to ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, gender, or sexual orientation in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant or exhibitor engages in harassing behavior, ESA leadership may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from a simple warning to the offender to expulsion from this and future conferences. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact ESA staff who can work with appropriate ESA leadership to resolve the situation.

ESA staff will revoke meeting credentials to anyone engaged in online harassment and may seek the assistance of law enforcement if necessary. We value your attendance and want to make your experience as productive and professionally stimulating as possible.

Expected Behavior:

  • Communicate openly with respect and consideration for others, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, volunteers, exhibitors, staff and suppliers/ vendors.
  • Be mindful of our surroundings and your fellow participants. Alert staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the convention center, hotels, contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Request permission from speakers before recording or taking photographs during their presentation. Turn off any ringers or otherwise disrupting devices during oral or poster sessions.

Unacceptable Behavior:

It is important that our meeting be a place where no attendee or staff is ever belittled, criticized or made to feel unsafe. The following behavior will not be tolerated:

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
  • Physical, written, or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.

Want to file a complaint? Please contact Rosina Romano,, 301-731-4535 x3010.

All reports are kept confidential to the extent possible. We do not share the names of reporters with leadership when determining next steps.

You may choose to submit an anonymous report. Please note that while we will keep track of anonymous reports, we cannot take action on a single anonymous report without further corroboration.

All reports are taken seriously and will be investigated.

We will gather all relevant details and information (verbal or written) from the reporter, the target (if they are not the reporter), and witnesses. Please note that investigations may extend beyond the end of the meeting.

The outcomes of investigations and subsequent sanctions will not be made public; however, those reporting incidents may request to be informed of the outcome.

In addition to the actions that may be taken at meetings (as described above), violators of the code of conduct will receive written documentation of the actions taken at and following the meeting.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have other concerns, contact ESA staff to resolve the situation. The key ESA contact person is Rosina Romano,, 301-731-4535 x3010.

Ento-Allies is not affiliated with the Entomological Society of America or any other entomological organization. We exist to help people find the appropriate resources, and to provide extra support. We don’t enforce the ESA code of conduct; we only support people who have been targeted by those that violate it.


If you would like to chat with someone informally, or need support, look for an Ento-Ally wearing a square Ento-Allies pin, like the one at right. 

We are available for you to talk to confidentially and to support you. If you want to make a formal report, we will go with you. If you choose to do nothing, that is ok too.