Academy to advise on prevention of inappropriate behaviour in academia

9 November 2020

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has been asked by the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science to advise on how to prevent inappropriate behaviour in academia. How can the structural and cultural factors leading to inappropriate behaviour be overcome? The Academy's advisory report is meant to make specific recommendations for ensuring a safer workplace environment in academia. 

The advisory report is part of a national action plan launched in September 2020 for an inclusive, diverse and safe environment in Dutch higher education and research.

Last year, the National Network of Women Professors (LNVH) published a study on misconduct and harassment showing that inappropriate behaviour occurs regularly in Dutch academia and takes many different forms. In its recommendations, the Academy will build on the findings of that report and look at inappropriate behaviour across all groups and individuals in the academic community.

In particular, the Academy will address:

  • possible preventive and other measures;
  • the effectiveness of existing reporting structures in tackling inappropriate behaviour;
  • the question of whether good behaviour in the workplace should be regarded as a component of academic integrity;
  • instruments to promote appropriate and aware behaviour in academia.

Committee on Inappropriate Behaviour

The Academy has set up a Committee on Roots and Prevention of Inappropriate Behaviour in Academia, with the following members:

  • Naomi Ellemers, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology, Utrecht University (chairperson)
  • Halleh Ghorashi, Professor of Diversity and Integration, VU Amsterdam 
  • Huub Dijstelbloem, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Amsterdam 
  • Frank Baaijens, Professor of Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology 
  • Yvonne Erkens, Associate Professor of Labour Law, Leiden University 
  • Marian Joëls, Professor of Neurobiology of Environmental Factors, University Medical Center Groningen
  • Michael Wise, General and Scientific Director of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research 
  • Sandra Groeneveld, Professor of Public Management, Leiden University

During its advisory process, the Committee will remain in close contact with relevant parties such as the LNVH. The advisory report will be published in late 2021.