The annual, international meeting of botanists, held this year June 24-28 in Fort Worth, Texas, offered an Ombudsman for the first time. Sherry Marts served as the Ombuds and was available as an independent and confidential resource for any attendee with concerns about violations of the Botany Conference Code of Conduct. The newly adopted conduct code prohibits a range of unacceptable behavior including offensive speech and unwanted attention.
Sherry Marts is a consultant in private practice who offers herself as a neutral Ombuds for harassment complaints at professional meetings. Her clients include several professional scientific membership associations. (Botany 2018 Code of Conduct; SMarts Consulting.)
Related posts: Ombuds Year in Review: 2017 (Special Interest Groups Begin Appointing Ombuds to Protect Members); National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Endorses Ombuds for Higher Ed's Sexual Harassment Problem.