• Blacklist Professors Guilty of Sexual Harassment in Labs, Demand Scientists

    Press Release

    March 26, 2018

     

    Scientists across the country have issued a statement expressing deep concern about the harassment of students in science laboratories, which has been recently brought into the spotlight by the Jawaharlal Nehru University incident. They have urged “Indian scientists, and women scientists in particular, to support the young complainants’ quest for justice, and to further this effort to publicly acknowledge and spread awareness on this extremely serious issue.”

    The statement reads:

    The recent allegations of sexual harassment that have been brought up against a Professor at the School of Life Sciences in the Jawaharlal Nehru University by not one, but several women students, have once again trained the spotlight on the issue of sexual harassment in science labs. That the alleged incidents span several years and multiple victims, all students/ project employees, points to a pattern that appears to be specific to the nature of working conditions for women in scientific labs in India. While not every science lab in the country is an unsafe space for women, yet to think of this as an isolated case of an individual wrongdoing would be an oversimplification and an understatement of the problem.

    By no imagination is sexual harassment at the workplace exclusive to the world of scientific research, yet some features of how science is organised, makes its authority structure especially perilous for women. Scientific research in India, particularly its higher echelons, remain predominantly the preserve of men. What adds to this power and authority is the need for mobilising large amounts of funding required for experimental research which the scientist or laboratory head provides. The absence of women in decision making bodies, their lack of adequate representation in committees and academies all come together to create an environment in which women and their concerns all appear marginal to the “serious business” of the scientific enterprise. While the growing numbers of women in the university has encouraged serious reflections and engagements with the gender question in humanities and social sciences, the world of science has remained unaffected and unwilling to question its ways of doing things.

    With the numbers of women enrolling for science degrees often exceeding that of men in recent years, many of whom aspire for careers in scientific research, there is an urgent need for Indian science to address issues of sexism, prejudice and harassment. It is time that Indian science woke up to its changing social reality and gives up its business-as-usual attitude. It is also time to hear from the Indian science academies and funding bodies clear policies of inclusion and representation. In addition, sexual misconduct should not only be condemned, it should invite black-listing from serving on scientific committees, receiving funding, awards and election to academies.

    We call upon Indian scientists, and women scientists in particular, to support the young complainants’ quest for justice, and to further this effort to publicly acknowledge and spread awareness on this extremely serious issue.
     

    1. Riddhi Shah, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    2. Gaiti Hasan, National Centre for Biological Sciences

    3. Shobhana Narasimhan, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

    4. Shobhona Sharma, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    5. Anna George, National Institute of Immunology

    6. Sandhya S Visweswariah, Indian Institute of Science

    7. B K Thelma, University of Delhi, South Campus

    8. Ranjini Bandyopadhyay, Raman Research Institute

    9. Sudha Bhattacharya, Jawaharlal Nehru University (retired)

    10. Vineeta Bal, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    11. Chetana Sachidanandan, CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology

    12. Jayashree Sengupta, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (retired)

    13. Prajval Shastri, Astrophysicist, Bengaluru

    14. Satyajit Mayor, National Centre for Biological Science

    15. Spenta R Wadia, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bengaluru

    16. Satyajit Rath, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    17. P Rajamanickam, General Secretary, All India Peoples Science Network

    18. M S Raghunathan, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    19. S G Dani, UM-DAE Centre for Excellence Basic Sciences, Mumbai

    20. Sumathi Rao, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    21. Enakshi Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

    22. Jaishree Paul, Jawaharlal Nehru University (retired)

    23. Abha Dev Habib, University of Delhi

    24. R Geeta, University of Delhi

    25. Namita Surolia, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

    26. A Mani, University of Calcutta

    27. Alok Bhattacharya, Jawaharlal Nehru University (retired)

    28. Amala Bhave, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    29. Amit Kumar Yadav, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

    30. Amitabh Virmani, Chennai Mathematical Institute

    31. Amitabha Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

    32. Anindya Dutt, University of Calcutta

    33. Anirban Kundu, University of Calcutta

    34. Antar Bandyopadhyay, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi

    35. Anu Venugopalan, Guru Gobind Singh, IP University

    36. Arjun Bagchi, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

    37. Arockiasamy Arulandu, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

    38. Arunava Chakrabarti, Kalyani University

    39. Arunava Mandal, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi

    40. Ashok Kapoor, Chennai Mathematical Institute

    41. Ashoke Sen, Harish-Chandra Research Institute.

    42. Asmita Patil, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

    43. Atreyi Dasgupta, Baylor College of Medicine

    44. Aurnab Ghose, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    45. B Sury, Indian Statistical Institute, Bengaluru

    46. Bhavtosh Bansal, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

    47. Bindusar Sahoo, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

    48. C.S. Lalitha, University of Delhi, South Campus

    49. Chandan Singh Dalawat, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    50. Chayanika Shah, Independent scholar and queer activist

    51. D P Sen Gupta, Indian Institute of Science (retired)

    52. Debarshi Das, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

    53. Debashis Ghoshal, Jawaharlal Nehru University 

    54. Deepali S Ghelani, Sahiyar

    55. Dibyendu Sarkar, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology

    56. Dileep Jatkar, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    57. Dinesh Abrol, "National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (retired)

    58. Dinesh Mohanta, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

    59. Dipshikha Chakravortty, Indian Institute of Science

    60. Durgadas P. Kasbekar, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics

    61. Elangbam Geetanjali, University of Delhi

    62. G. Krishnmoorthy, Anna University

    63. Gauhar Raza, "National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (retired)

    64. Gautam I Menon, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

    65. Geeta Venkataraman, Ambedkar University

    66. Girish Kulkarni, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

    67. Gurcharan Kaur, Guru Nanak Dev University

    68. H Shakila, Madurai Kamaraj University

    69. Jagmohan Singh, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh

    70. Jasjeet Singh Bagla, "Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali

    71. Jayanta Kumar Sarma, Tezpur University

    72. Joyee Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

    73. Jyoti Basu, Bose Institute

    74. Jyotsna Dani, University of Mumbai (retired)

    75. Kalyani Menon Sen, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology

    76. Karthick Bittu Kondiah, Ashoka University

    77. Karthikeyan Vasudevan, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

    78. Kasturi Mukhopadhyay, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    79. Kaushal Verma, Indian Institute of Science

    80. Kaushar Vaidya, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani

    81. Krishna B Garg, University of Rajasthan (retired)

    82. Krishna Maddaly, Ashoka University

    83. Krishnendu Sengupta, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

    84. L.S. Shashidhara, "Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    85. Lekha Nair, Jamia Millia Islamia

    86. M A Sofi, Kashmir University (Emeritus)

    87. M Sundari, Chennai Mathematical Institute

    88. Mahajan M J, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    89. Mamta, S G T B. Khalsa College, University of Delhi

    90. Manavendra N Mahato, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore

    91. Maneesh Thakur, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi

    92. Manoj Verma, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    93. Manu Aggarwal, University of Delhi

    94. Mayurika Lahiri, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    95. Mitaxi Mehta, Ahmedabad University

    96. Mubeena T, Govt. College, Kasaragod

    97. Mugdha Kulashreshtha, Science reviewer, Cactus Communications

    98. N. Raghavendra, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    99. Nalin Mehta, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

    100. Nandita Das Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

    101. Naveen Gaur, University of Delhi

    102. Neelkamal Rastogi, Banaras Hindu University

    103. Nisha Biswas, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute

    104. Nisha Tapryal, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

    105. Patrick Das Gupta, University of Delhi

    106. Pradeep Parrack, Bose Institute

    107. Pradipta Bandyopadhyay, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    108. Pratibha Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    109. Preeti Kharb, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics

    110. Rabeya Basu, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    111. Raghunand R. Tirumalai, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

    112. Rahul Roy, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi

    113. Rajeswari Sarala Raina, Shiv Nadar University

    114. Ram Shilpa, Forbesganj College, Bihar

    115. Rashna Bhandari, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics

    116. Ravi Mazumdar, University of Waterloo

    117. Remya Nair, Kyoto University

    118. Rickmoy Samanta, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    119. Rina Shah, M G Science Institute

    120. Rishikesh Vaidya, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani

    121. S. Ilangovan, University of Hyderabad

    122. Sagari R Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist, Food Sovereignty Alliance 

    123. Sameena Khan, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

    124. Sandhya Choubey, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    125. Sanjay K Banerjee, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

    126. Sanjay Kapoor,  University of Delhi, South Campus

    127. Saradindu Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    128. Saurabh Basu, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati

    129. Sejal Shah, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

    130. Shahid Jameel, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (retired)

    131. Shilpa Jamwal, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

    132. Shiraz Minwalla, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    133. Shiva Shankar, Chennai Mathematical Institute

    134. Shrihari Sridharan, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

    135. Soma Marla, ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources

    136. Soumitro Bannerjee, Indian Institute of Science Education's and Research, Kolkata

    137. Sreelaja Nair, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    138. Sriparna Bandopadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati

    139. Srubabati Goswami, Physicist, Gujarat

    140. Subiman Kundu, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

    141. Sudhir Raniwala, University of Rajasthan

    142. Sudipta Maiti, "Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    143. Suhita Nadkarni, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    144. Sunil Kumar Mukherjee, Indian Agricultural Research Institute

    145. Supratim Sengupta, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

    146. Surekha Bhanot, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani

    147. Surjeet Kour, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

    148. Suvankar Dutta, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal

    149. Swapan Chakrabarti, University of Calcutta

    150. Swati Saha, University of Delhi South Campus

    151. T Govindrajan, Chennai Mathematical Institute

    152. T. Pareek, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    153. Tabish Qureshi, Jamia Millia Islamia

    154. Teena Gill, Filmmaker

    155. Tejinder Singh, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

    156. Ujjwal Sen, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    157. Umesh Dubey, Harish-Chandra Research Institute

    158. Utpal Chattopadhyay, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

    159. V. S. Sunder, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

    160. Vijaya Satchidanandam, Indian Institute of Science

    161. Vikram Vyas, Ajit Foundation

    162. Vinay Nandicoori, National Institute of Immunology

    163. Vineeta Bal, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

    164. Yashwanti Mudgil, University of Delhi

    165. Yogesh Kumar Srivastava, National Institute for Science Education and Research Bhubaneswar


       

    First published in The Citizen.

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