A prominent astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley, has been found to have violated the university’s policies on sexual harassment and told to shape up. But neither Geoffrey Marcy nor the university, which earlier this year completed its investigation into complaints against him going back more than a decade, is providing any details of the case, first reported today by Buzzfeed. And the American Astronomical Society (AAS) has turned down his request to publish what he intended to be a letter of apology.
“While I do not agree with each complaint that was made, it is clear that my behavior was unwelcomed by some women,” Marcy wrote on 7 October to AAS’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA). “I take full responsibility and hold myself completely accountable for my actions,” Marcy said in the letter, which he posted on his website.
AAS’s president, Yale astronomer Meg Urry, says Marcy’s request was rejected because “we don’t publish letters” in the CSWA newsletter. Noting that the letter is already available on other sites, she added, “I don’t think we should be seen as validating his letter.”