Sexual Harassment and Gender Equity in Science

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 5:00pm


Sarah Ballard

Astrophysicist, MIT Postdoctoral Fellow and Scholar

In October, 2015, Buzzfeed News reporter Azeen Ghorayshi broke an investigative story detailing astronomer Geoffrey Marcy's long history of sexual harassment. Since then, more female scientists have come forward about their experiences with harassment. Ghorayshi, MIT astronomer Sarah Ballard, and Harvard history of science professor Evelynn M Hammonds join science journalist and Communications Forum coordinator Christina Couch to discuss barriers to gender equality in the sciences and steps to overcome them. Co-sponsored with the Communications Forum.


For more than three decades, the Communications Forum has played a unique role at MIT and beyond as a hub of cutting-edge discussion on the cultural, political, economic, and technological impacts of communication, with special emphasis on emerging technologies and science communication. Translating specialized or technical perspectives into discourse accessible to non-specialists has been a hallmark of the Forum; the scholars, journalists, scientists, political figures, corporate executives, media producers, and engineers who participate in the Forum all accept a responsibility to speak in language that can be understood by literate citizens and professionals in many fields. Our goals are to advance knowledge and provide education in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the world in the 21st century.