Adopted by SOT on November 4, 2019
Acceptance of membership into the Society of Toxicology, at any level, should be considered an honor and recognition of accomplishment. All Society of Toxicology members are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity. In the rare case where a member no longer meets this expectation, or otherwise fails to merit the continued status as a member of the Society, the following set of guidelines and procedures will be followed to request and consider membership revocation.
The Society of Toxicology will, in its sole discretion, consider revocation of member status in cases of proven scientific misconduct, or serious breach of professional ethics. All requests to revoke membership status will be considered in accordance with the procedures provided herein.
Breaches of professional ethics might include sexual misconduct, racial discrimination, or other ethical violations. Sexual harassment or retaliation for objecting to or reporting harassment or other sexual conduct may constitute a serious breach of professional ethics. This policy covers professional activities wherever they take place. This includes, but is not limited to, academic buildings, laboratories, field sites, research stations, field course venues, professional meetings, or any such professional settings. This policy includes interactions with persons such as, but not limited to, colleagues, subordinates, students, teaching or research assistants or others with whom the member interacts as part of the member’s professional activities.
A request for revocation of membership must include an investigative report that documents findings, sanctions, or actions taken from an independent organization or agency. Alternatively, a public announcement of the information in a report, or actions that have been taken, may be submitted. Media reports alone may not be sufficient to support a revocation request. The Society of Toxicology will only consider requests for revocation filed within four years of the report or announcement of the finding, sanction, or action, and will not consider requests when the member is deceased.
- A request for revocation should be made in writing to the Society of Toxicology Executive Director in the Society’s Headquarters Office. Requests may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In all steps of these Procedures, the identity of the requestor will generally not be revealed by the Executive Director or Council except as may be required by a court of competent jurisdiction or as otherwise required to comply with the Society of Toxicology’s legal obligations.
- A request must include an investigative report and/or public announcement of findings or actions taken (or links thereto) from a credible body such as the Federal government’s Office of Research Integrity, other Federal or state agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH), an academic institution, a court of law, or admission(s) of conduct by the member. Requests for revocation may only be made by a Society of Toxicology member. The member must include detailed information about the sources used, in order to enable verification of information. In addition, the member must agree in writing to maintain the confidentiality of the matter until its conclusion at the Society.
- The Society of Toxicology Executive Director and Presidential Chain will conduct a preliminary review to determine if the request is substantive, has adequate documentation, and complies with these Procedures. As a result of this review, either the process will continue, or the request will be dismissed. In either case, the staff will provide a report to the Council.
- During revocation procedures, deliberations on claims will be based on the evidence provided. The Society of Toxicology will not initiate investigations of complaints or charges beyond the information presented in the request or otherwise available publicly (such as publications or court records).
- Based on the submitted documents, Council will decide whether to proceed with revocation procedures or to dismiss the request. If the decision is to proceed, Council will appoint a Revocation Panel of three current Council members to rule on the request. The Revocation Panel will remain active until a determination has been made on the request. This work may continue past the end of a Council member’s term.
- If Council decides to proceed, the member will be given notice of the request, with the supporting documentation and the names of all Revocation Panel members. The member will be invited to respond in writing to the request, and if desired, to make an oral presentation to the Revocation Panel, which will ordinarily occur via telephone conference. Such conference will not include any representatives of the member and will be limited in time and scope per the direction of the Revocation Panel.
- The Revocation Panel will consider the original request, any responses, including the oral presentation/conference with the member, if any, and may also consider any other pertinent information of public or official record. The Revocation Panel will discuss and present their findings to Council in the form of a written report. An affirmative unanimous vote of Council is required for a motion for revocation to pass. The decision of Council is the final decision and there is no appeal.
- Reinstatement: After membership status has been revoked, should significant, material new evidence come to light that would call into question the conclusion to revoke membership status, a member may request reinstatement. The process and procedure for reinstatement will be substantively equivalent to the procedure to revoke membership status.