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Code of Conduct

A fundamental goal of IAPHS is to bring together a diverse array of people, experiences, and ideas to advance population health science and its application to improving health and health equity.  As a professional association, IAPHS recognizes that a spirit of free inquiry and free expression is important and necessary for advancing science and practice. The Association fully supports and values the collegial interactions that yield interpersonal connections and intellectual outcomes: discussions, differing viewpoints, and scientific debates.

IAPHS also recognizes that the success of these interactions depends on creating a welcoming environment and a culture of respect, in which differences in cultural backgrounds, social and professional statuses, and personal characteristics are valued. It expects that individual participants in its conferences and other activities will act responsibly, and with sensitivity to the possibility of prejudices that can affect our behavior. These expectations cover all behavior at IAPHS events as well as in other professional settings.

It is the policy of IAPHS that all participants in IAPHS activities will enjoy a welcoming environment free from undue fear of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Our baseline expectation is for all participants to:

  • Follow the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange;
  • Be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid harm to any participant due to a situation that you personally witness;
  • Alert security personnel or law enforcement if you see a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger.

Unacceptable Conduct
What is prohibited? Discrimination, harassment and retaliation toward others will not be tolerated, whether this behavior occurs within or outside of events sponsored by IAPHS. Past, recent, or ongoing actions, especially if they represent a pattern of behavior, will be taken into account.

Definition of Discrimination:  Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of people on the basis of their legally protected background or status, including race and/or ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, disability, or any other status protected under federal, state or local law.

 Discrimination refers to unfair or disparate treatment based on one’s background or status; use of derogatory terms or epithets related to one’s background or status; attributions of personality, intellectual or other traits related to one’s background or status; exclusion of individuals from professional settings or activities based solely on background or status.

 Definitions of Harassment: Harassment consists of a single or multiple persistent or pervasive acts which are demeaning, abusive, or offensive, as well as actions that create a hostile professional environment at an IAPHS sponsored event or other professional setting. Harassment may include sexual or other harassment. Unprofessional behavior is not limited to face-to-face interactions. As such, it also includes written, electronic, and telephone communication.

 Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome touching, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome or acceptable to one person or culture may be unwelcome and offensive to another. Personal or cultural acceptance is not a justification for any unwelcome form of behavior.  Sexual harassment does not refer to a welcomed compliment, but it does refer to behaviors, such as those noted below, that are not welcome.

 The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, constitute sexual harassment:

  • Sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions;
  • Verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature, including sexually degrading words used to describe an individual;
  • Making unwelcome comments about someone’s physical appearance;
  • A display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
  • Sexually explicit jokes;
  • Unwanted touching;
  • Persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy, especially when accompanied by real or implied threat of professional or other type of harm.

Other Harassment. Harassment on the basis of any other legally protected characteristic under federal, state or local law is also prohibited. This conduct includes, but is not limited to prejudicial actions or comments related to actual or perceived gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, or religion that coerce others, foment broad hostility, or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of free academic exchange. Other harassment may include threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group; epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on group identity.

Verbally or physically abusive behavior toward others while conducting or engaging in IAPHS business or participating in IAPHS activities will not be tolerated. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying;
  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions;
  • Directing profanity toward others;
  • Mobbing (i.e., group bullying an individual);
  • Property damage;
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
  • Harassing photography or recording;
  • Sustained disturbances inconsistent with the purpose of talks or other events;
  • Physical assault;
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm.

Definition of Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when a person is punished—or when punishment or retaliation is threatened or implied–for engaging in legally protected activity, such as reporting harassment or discrimination. In an academic setting, retaliation can take the form of unwarranted negative review of work, speaking ill of a person or their work, acting aggressively toward that person, and so on.

Who must Comply?

All individuals participating in IAPHS activities must comply with these standards of behavior. This policy applies to all participants in IAPHS activities, regardless of membership in IAPHS, including but not limited to IAPHS Board members, committee members, event attendees, students, guests, staff, contractors, exhibitors, and participants in scientific sessions, tours, and other social events of any IAPHS meeting, and participants in the IAPHS Mentoring Program or other activity.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

At the sole discretion of the Executive Committee of IAPHS, unacceptable behavior—whether in the context of IAPHS activities or outside of it—may result in removal or denial of access to meeting facilities or activities, removal from IAPHS positions, and other penalties, without refund of any applicable registration fees or costs. In addition, violations may be reported to the individual’s employer. Offenders may be banned from future IAPHS activities.  Because the IAPHS Executive Committee is not an investigating authority, it will not make a formal determination of guilt of the accused party.  The purpose of this Code of Conduct is not to function as a legal standard, but rather as a set of expectations.  The IAPHS Executive Committee has the sole authority, without recourse, to assess whether its expectations are being met and may take action accordingly.  In general, the Executive Committee will not make public its deliberations or decisions.

What to Do If You Witness or Experience Conduct That You Believe Violates the Above Standards

We value your participation, and want to make your experience as productive and professionally stimulating as possible.

If you experience or witness such conduct during an onsite event:

  • Please contact the IAPHS Executive Director in person or using one of the methods below. As appropriate, IAPHS will help participants contact convention center/hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, and otherwise assist those experiencing harassment, to enable them to feel safe for the duration of the conference. If someone is in imminent physical danger, please contact security personnel directly as well as notifying the IAPHS Administrative Director.


If you experience or witness such conduct during any other activity:

  • Please contact IAPHS’s Executive Director, using one of the methods below, to file an official complaint.

If the complaint is directed against the IAPHS Executive Director, please contact the current President of IAPHS (see https://iaphs.org/about-iaphs/board-officers/).  

IAPHS Executive Director:
Sue Bevan
Email: sbevan@iaphs.org
Phone: 385.800.7079
Mailing Address: PO Box 1831, Eagle, Idaho 83616