Code of Conduct for Seminars

By joining department-hosted colloquia and seminars, you agree to uphold this code of conduct.

The Department of Physics encourages the open exchange of scientific ideas. Seminars are a forum for the speaker to present their ideas and to allow other attendees to learn, as well as contribute questions or comments. To this end, we want our code of conduct to set the environment for meetings and seminars to create an inclusive environment where all participants feel that their presence is welcome and their contributions are valued.

  • All attendees should behave professionally: treating speakers and other attendees with respect and consideration. Professional conduct includes thoughtful appreciation of the ways in which power and status affect how people express themselves and how they interpret what is said. This is especially important to consider when speakers are job candidates, trainees, students, junior faculty members within the department, or faculty members within the department that are being considered for promotion.
  • Constructive interaction between the speaker and the audience is encouraged. Speakers should try to present their material in an understandable way, taking into account the diverse levels of expertise in the audience. All audience members should feel free to respectfully ask constructive questions that lead to a broader and deeper understanding of the speaker’s points.
  • Persistent questioning or dialog limits others from participating and should not be pursued during the talk. If an attendee is not satisfied with the speaker’s response to their question or comment, then they should reserve follow-up for later discussion to allow the speaker to present their ideas and to allow other attendees to contribute questions or comments.
  • Discussion between attendees during a seminar should be kept to a minimum. The seminar is primarily a vehicle for the speaker to communicate with the audience.
  • Intimidation of any participant through aggressive or confrontational comments or questions is not acceptable.
  • The host of the seminar speaker is formally in charge of the seminar. This includes reminding audience members of the department’s expectations concerning their conduct. However, given that the host may not be a senior member of the department, all senior faculty present should be mindful of this code of conduct and should help to ensure that it is followed.