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Friday, December 14, 2018

A #MeTooSTEM rogue's gallery of sexual harassers, predators, and bullies in the sciences [Continually updated]

Since fall 2015, in collaboration with victims and survivors who have served as primary sources for my stories, I have had the privilege of publicly exposing the following men and women accused of sexual assault, harassment, or bullying. This list does not include a few individuals that I have named on social media, but all allegations I make publicly always based on multiple and credible sources including victims and survivors. The following links refer to my first public mentions of these individuals.

While I started off investigating sexual misconduct for Science and The Verge, I eventually moved most of my #MeToo reporting to my blog. In a September 2019 article for the Columbia Journalism Review, I explain that decision and the criticisms of media coverage of misconduct that led me to go that route.


Brian Richmond, formerly of American Museum of Natural History. Richmond was accused of sexual assault by a colleague he supervised, but the museum did little until Science began an investigation. He was eventually forced to resign.

Miguel Pinto, currently Instituto de Ciencias Biol√≥gicas, Escuela Polit√©cnica Nacional, Ecuador. Pinto was eventually banned from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History after he sexually assaulted a student there.

Robert Baker, Texas Tech, emeritus. Baker had a long history of sexual harassment of students which was only publicly exposed upon his retirement.

William Hylander, formerly emeritus, Duke University. Hylander is another anthropologist with a long history of sexual harassment, about which nothing was done until he was already emeritus. A Title IX investigation ended with him being stripped of his emeritus status at Duke.

Ron Clarke, University of the Witwatersrand. Clarke was given a zero tolerance warning by Wits after evidence surfaced that he had sexually harassed graduate students.

Steven Churchill, Duke University. Churchill was forced to step down as anthropology department chair at Duke after at least one inappropriate relationship with a student.

Rob Blumenschine, Rutgers University. He was given a zero tolerance warning by Wits, with which he was also affiliated, in the same procedure that looked at Ron Clarke's behavior (see above.)

Nick Longrich, University of Bath. Longrich was removed from supervising graduate students after being found guilty of bullying students at Bath. He lost a large Leverhulme Trust grant as a result.

David Lordkipanidze, Georgia National Museum. Lordkipanidze, according to a number of women who talked to me about their experiences with him, committed multiple sexual assaults on women and harassed many more. Amazingly, despite the weight of evidence against him, the IPHES human evolution institute in Tarragona, Spain has now promoted DL to president of its Scientific Advisory Board. This is unlikely to go unchallenged.

Rod Scott, University of Bath. Scott had a long history of sexual harassment of students at Bath. Scott took his own life in December 2018, while being investigated for this behavior.

Stephanie Diezmann, formerly University of Bath, now University of Bristol. Diezmann bullied multiple students although she was let off the hook after an investigation by Bath.

Luiz Loures, formerly of UNAIDS. Loures allegedly sexually assaulted his colleague Martina Brostrom during a meeting in Thailand. An internal investigation let him off the hook, but an external investigation found that senior UNAIDS leaders created a culture of harassment and abuse of power at the agency.

Jean-Jacques Hublin, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Hublin was accused by a student he had an affair with of sexual misconduct and misleading her about his marital status. Other former students have accused him of harassment, and he also allegedly fired a postdoc in his lab when he began dating Hublin's secretary (of whom he was reportedly very fond.) More recently, Tanya Smith, a highly respected biological anthropologist now at the University of Griffith in Australia, has published her story about how Hublin tried to wreck her career over many years because she did not toe the line about his insistence that no one could ever be independent of him. 

David Yesner, University of Alaska, Anchorage. (I did not break the initial story on this case, but followed it for months and I am doing followup. Yesner became a major flash point when he showed up unexpected at the SAA meetings in Albuquerque.)

Fethi Ahmed, University of the Witwatersrand. Ahmed was dismissed as head of the Wits School of Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Sciences after being found guilty of gender-based bullying of seven complainants. His dismissal was upheld on appeal.

Deanna Grimstead, Ohio State University. Found guilty by an OSU investigation of sexual harassment of a student in 2015, no apparent action taken, still employed and teaching. Found guilty again last year, in a second Title IX investigation. Finally forced to resign, effective Jan 1, 2020.

Randall White, New York University. Suspended from NYU for a year in the 1990s for a long history of sexual harassment, the whole episode covered up by the university, but not forgotten by those who suffered. I have called upon White to come clean about what he did and the effect it had on young researchers as he retires in August.

Kevin Folta, University of Florida horticulture department, and leading biotech advocate. Although Folta is best known for extensive conflicts of interest in his self-proclaimed role as a "science communicator," there are also multiple witnesses to his having abused his ex-wife while they were married. He was forced to step down as chair of the department in the wake of those revelations.

Michael WestawayUniversity of Queensland in Australia. Bullying, harassment, unethical conduct.

Alan Cooper, ancient DNA, University of Adelaide. Bullying, harassment, unethical behavior. The university launched a "culture check" as a result of publicity about the case and victims coming forward; that inquiry has now led to Cooper's suspension as director of the lab pending disciplinary action. 

Charles Esdaile, University of Liverpool, Department of History. Sexual predation.

James Doughty, University of Bath. A good friend and enabler of the late U of Bath researcher and sexual predator Rod Scott (see above.) Harassment and sleeping with students.

Faye McCallum, Head of School of Education, University of Adelaide. Multiple complaints of bullying of colleagues, harassment, favoritism, preferential treatment, and other abusive and unprofessional behavior. A university inquiry ("culture check") heard the evidence but university officials have done nothing so far.

Sharon Gursky, anthropology, Texas AM. Bullying, unethical behavior including stealing student research ideas.

Bruce Dickson, anthropology, Texas AM, emeritus. Sexual harassment.

Wayne Smith, anthropology, Texas AM, nautical archaeology. Sexual harassment.

Darryl de Ruiter, department chair, anthropology, TAMU. Sexual harassment and bullying, Title IX.

Michael Alvardanthropology, Texas AM. Ethical issues with requiring students to participate in a study involuntarily, bullying and threatening students who expressed concerns about it.

Richard Martin, cultural anthropologist, University of Queensland. Long history of sexual harassment, of which the university is well aware. More to come.

Danielle Kurin and Enmanuel Gomez Choque, University of California, Santa Barbara. Him: Allegations of sexual assault. Her: Retaliation against complainants. Multiple Title IX cases. Details to come.

Arthur Demarest, MesoAmerica expert, Vanderbilt University. Sexual harassment, attempts at retaliation. More to come.








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