SDSS-IV commitment to inclusivity

The below statement was shared with the SDSS-IV collaboration on 13th November. Following a request we now post it publicly here.


We write to affirm our commitment to treat every member of our collaboration with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, color, disability, faith, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, social class, or political beliefs.

This week’s U.S. election results followed a long and divisive 2016 campaign. Our SDSS-IV collaboration is broad and international, and has a significant fraction of members based in the U.S. Our community comes from a range of backgrounds and experiences that may influence how they are impacted by current events.  We urge all members of the collaboration to be mindful of how we treat other members of our community during this challenging time.

We write particularly to express our solidarity with colleagues who have legitimate fears for their safety in the coming months and years. In the days following the election, some of us at U.S. institutions
have heard first-hand reports of harassment and intimidation of our colleagues and students, in some cases based on their race, of a sort that has previously been rare, and by perpetrators who expressed
political motivations.  Whatever one’s philosophy of government or beliefs about what economic, social, and foreign policies are best for the U.S., it is important that we reject such behavior; we hope that all of the U.S. national leaders will do so.

In this environment, we feel the need now to emphasize that in SDSS-IV we are committed to fostering an astronomy community that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive of all people, including those in historically marginalized groups.
SDSS-IV is currently in the process of drafting our Code of Conduct. Collaboration members are invited to comment on the current draft (link is internal website)  by emailing Jennifer Johnson (the Chair of the Code of Conduct Committee). You are also welcome to send comments to the Committee on Inclusiveness in SDSS (

In the meantime please bring any concerns you have about collaboration climate to the collaboration management, or to our Ombudspeople, Jill Knapp and David Weinberg who can be contacted directly and confidentially via