What all the harassment stories in astronomy really mean
“The real story — the one you’re only seeing the beginning of — is that for the first time, these actions are getting the attention they deserve for what they truly are: unacceptable. A senior scientist’s right to control the fate, behavior, personal space and even the bodies of junior scientists is no longer going to fly. Creating a work environment that’s comfortable for some and less accessible to others based on gender, race, sexual orientation or identity has been the norm for a very long time, but all of that is changing.”
Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they’ve done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has a harassment problem? Of course it does, but that’s not the real story. The real story is that, for the first time, an entire academic field is recognizing a widespread problem, taking steps to change its policies, and is beginning to support the victims, rather than the senior, more famous, more prestigious perpetrators. Astronomy is the just start; hopefully physics, computer science, engineering, philosophy and economics are next.