Was said of no public figure in the last decade:
Dr. Marcy was mentioned only a few weeks ago as a potential Nobel Prize honoree. But he also left a trail of complaints and rumors about inappropriate behavior over the years.
This summer, in response to a formal complaint by four former students, the University of California concluded that Dr. Marcy had violated its policies on sexual harassment. The violations, spanning 2001 to 2010, included groping students, kissing them and touching or massaging them inside their clothes.
Dr. Marcy was informed that another harassment violation would leave him subject to immediate suspension or dismissal — a decision that was not widely known until BuzzFeed News reported it last week.
On the eve of the report’s release, Dr. Marcy posted an apology on his website, disagreeing with some aspects of the harassment complaints but saying he took responsibility. “It is difficult to express how painful it is for me to realize that I was a source of distress for any of my women colleagues, however unintentional,” he said.
But his apology and the university’s response were widely seen as not enough and lacking in sensitivity to the victims of his actions, some of whom have since left astronomy. The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy declined his request that the apology be published in its newsletter, according to the Women in Astronomy blog.
Houston, we have convergence! Anyhow, just in case it’s not clear, an apology is not going to save you.
“This should put sexual harassers on notice: No one is too big to fail,”
Joan Schmelz, a former chairwoman of the American Astronomical
Society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy, said on
Nothing, NOTHING, is more important than preventing insufficiently attractive men from touching women. Not science. And certainly not astronomy!