We, astronomers and astrophysicists from Finland and in Finland, strongly condemn harassment and discrimination. This includes but is not limited to harassment or discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or disability. Harassment can take the form of unwanted sexual attention, bullying, coercion, or the creation of an unsafe or hostile work environment, especially in the presence of imbalances of power. Our own academic community is no exception.
Harassment is a serious offence that too often goes unreported and unchallenged. When victims come forward, they must be able to rely on our support. We must address the issue head-on. Otherwise, we not only enable harassers, but also send a devastating message to the individuals who have been harassed – and whose careers are often destroyed or seriously disrupted – as well as to the whole community.
Our concern and solidarity is first with victims of harassment, and with the right of all staff and students to work in a healthy and safe environment. And while we also recognise the possibility of rehabilitation, it can only be at the end of a process that begins with an acknowledgement of the offense, and taking responsibility for the harm caused.
The Finnish astronomical and astrophysical community is diverse and international, and it is also deeply connected. It strives on principles of fairness and equal opportunities. Harassment or discrimination threaten our community and our way of working together. They have no place here.
Original statement online: goo.gl/LJ4GC6
Finnish or Finland-based astronomers or astrophysicists, please use this form to sign: https://goo.gl/forms/TSqOjg1pIq1xHtNA2
Other academics, please use this form to show your support: https://goo.gl/forms/GQ0oImljndVEl68q1