Code of Conduct

The Society supports open scientific discussion and free speech in the expression of scientific opinions. However, we expect all parties engaging with the activities of the SEB to treat colleagues fairly and with respect. This code of conduct and policy applies to all trustees, employees, members, and event attendees of the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) including third parties and suppliers acting on behalf of the SEB. We also expect anyone who is using a social media platform to communicate about the SEB, or on behalf of the SEB, to adhere to this policy.

Core Values

  • All trustees, employees, SEB members, event attendees and other stakeholders are essential is promoting the success of the SEB and being an advocate for experimental biology. As such they are encouraged to actively practice the core values of the Society:
  • Individuals and groups should act in the best interests of the Society, including both promoting the successes of the SEB as well as not bringing the Society into disrepute. If commenting on matters publicly, ensure that it is clear when the SEB is being represented and when the comments are personal opinion alone.
  • Individuals and groups should always conduct themselves in a professional and respectful way, ensuring that both their behaviour and science is performed in an ethical and inclusive manner.
  • Individuals and groups should foster an inclusive environment within the Society, at all times refraining from actions or statements towards members, prospective members, staff and trustees that might be construed as discrimination on the basis of their gender, sex, colour, ethnic or national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, religious or political beliefs, marital status, family circumstances or socio-economic status and also from discrimination based upon other features such as physical appearance and level of intellectual/professional achievement.

Participants of SEB Meetings and Activities

As a participant at any SEB meeting or activities, including social media campaigns, the following expectations must be adhered to ensure the values of the Society are met:


  1. Integrity, fairness and transparency: Participants should act with honesty and openness, being respectful of others and their opinions, acting responsibly at the meeting and on social media, and treating others with equality.
  2. Supportive, innovative and informative: Participants should engage with others embracing new ideas and concepts, identifying new opportunities in the field, and sharing new knowledge, techniques and information while respecting intellectual property rights and confidentiality.
  3. Compassionate, encouraging and inspiring: Participants should engage enthusiastically in networking opportunities, give credit to all contributing researchers in presentations, supporting fellow participants to enhance experimental biology and showing vision adopting novel avenues of thought and techniques to ensure the future of SEB science. Participants should strive to be a positive role model to others, especially junior members which may include offering mentorship where possible.

Anti- Harrassment and Bullying Policy

The Society is firmly committed to ensuring an inclusive environment in all areas of its work and will not tolerate harassment, bullying or victimisation in any form. This policy is designed to promote th development of an environment where both individuals and groups feel confident and are treated fairly with dignity and respect, regardless of protected characteristics included in the Equality Act 2010* or aspects of diversity not currently covered by the Act (e.g. socio-economic status). For the purpose of clarity, the SEB’s definition of harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive or unwanted conduct with the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment.
  • Derogatory actions or comments based on age, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, or socio-economic status.
  • Use of sexualised or other inappropriate images or unwelcome sexualised content,
  • Sustained interruption of speakers or those asking questions
  • Unwanted photography or filming
  • Intimidation or violence including threats, bullying, or personal attacks
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personal identifying information (“doxing”)
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  • Inappropriate photography or recording, including sharing screenshots or images from private or public messages with the aim of humiliating that person
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of “dead” or rejected names
  • Physical contact, or simulated and excessive descriptions of physical contact both verbal and written (i.e., in the chat functions of virtual events)
  • Unwelcomed sexual attention including sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person)
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

Members and employees of the SEB must treat colleagues fairly and must not harass an individual, or group. This includes verbal, physical, or written harassment, and encompasses our in-person and virtual events, as well as social media exchanges and other forms of communication. Harassment and bullying may not be intentional; however, it is always considered unacceptable by the Society.

The SEB reserves the right to remove any individual from the event or/and block them on social media and delete offending posts if they break the Code of Conduct. No reimbursement of event or associated costs will be made. If there is suspicion of a crime being committed it may be reported to the appropriate authorities. We expect participants and stakeholders to follow these rules at all SEB events and associated activities, this is a fixed condition of membership or attendance at any SEB event.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of SEB staff immediately. SEB staff will be happy to help participants to feel safe at the event.

Please note that removal from an event does not imply formal/legal accusation of harassment on the part of the SEB.


1. The Edis Symposium 2019 Code Of Conduct & Inclusion Statement .
2. The Equality Act 2010 Guidance
3. Stonewall Glossary Of Terms
4. Adapting Your Code Of Conduct For Virtual Events