Conference Policies

Code of Conduct

Updated January 2019

The Genetics Society of America Conferences foster an international community of geneticists and provide an opportunity to discuss scientific advances and form new collaborations.

GSA values your attendance and wants to make your experience productive and inspiring by fostering an open exchange of ideas in a professional setting. Our Code of Conduct was established to communicate a transparent set of standards and guidelines for acceptable behavior at GSA Conferences and to provide a positive, safe, and welcoming environment for all attendees, vendors, volunteers, and staff.

All conference participants (regardless of their role) are expected to follow the Code of Conduct while attending any portion of the meeting, including but not limited to meeting rooms, the exhibit/poster hall, meeting areas in the official conference venue, and social events provided by the meeting or vendors.

Unacceptable Behaviors

Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, or demeaning speech or actions by any participant and at all related events
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, religion, political orientation, socioeconomic, disability or ability status, or other personal characteristics, including those protected by law
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides and posters)
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Violating the rules and regulations of the conference hotel
  • Sustained disruption of scientific sessions or other events
  • Unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping)
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm
  • Harassing or unwanted photography
  • Photographing slides of oral presentations and posters without permission
  • Recording of scientific and other sessions without permission

Taking action or making a report

  • If you feel threatened, witness someone being threatened, or observe behavior that presents an immediate or serious threat to public safety, please contact venue staff/security or call 911 immediately.
  • GSA staff is available to assist participants in contacting hotel/university security or local law enforcement, and otherwise assist those experiencing harassment.
  • If you see someone taking photographs or videos of a presentation or poster (where permission has not been granted), you may choose to remind them of the Code of Conduct policy and ask them to stop photographing the presentation or poster.
  • You may also report unauthorized photography to GSA Staff.
  • Need to file a complaint? Please contact any member of GSA Staff (indicated by red ribbon on their badge) or email Tracey DePellegrin at tracey.depellegrin@genetics-gsa.org. All reports will be handled confidentially.

Consequences of non-compliance

Anyone asked by GSA, the venue or security staff, or law enforcement officers to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Retaliation toward GSA or toward someone reporting an incident or after experiencing any of the following consequences will not be tolerated and may result in additional sanctions.

The consequences of non-compliance with GSA’s Code of Conduct may include:

  • Immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund
  • Restrictions from future GSA meeting attendance
  • Termination of GSA membership or positions on GSA Boards or Committees
  • Incidents may be reported to the proper authorities


GSA is committed to assisting attendees with special needs. If you have accessibility questions or requests please e-mail mahoney@genetics-gsa.org. If you have difficulty in walking long distances, consider renting a scooter from Scoot Around. They will deliver your scooter to your hotel and pick it up when you no longer need it. For more details, visit www.scootaround.com or call (888) 441-7575.

Diversity and Inclusion

GSA is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion to create greater opportunity for any individual to fulfil their scientific potential, irrespective of their background, gender, or circumstances. This diversity leads to innovation by attracting the widest possible talent to the community and fostering a greater diversity of ideas, approaches, and perspectives. The Organizing Committee aims to select speakers and session chairs that represent the breadth and diversity of the discipline and conference participants. GSA especially encourages the Committee to select excellent speakers from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.

Social Media/Photo/Video Policy

Live tweeting of presentations is allowed unless the speaker explicitly opts out by stating so at the start of his or her talk. Taking or sharing photos or videos of posters is permitted only with the presenter’s consent during the assigned poster session. Taking photos of posters while the presenter is not present is strictly prohibited. By attending a GSA conference, you grant GSA the right to use your photograph, name, and likeness for use in GSA educational, news, or promotional materials.