Code of Conduct and Community Guidelines

The purpose of this policy is to address the conduct expected of Hershey Conference participants and to outline steps that may be taken when conduct does not align with expectations. The Hershey Code of Conduct applies to all Hershey activities, which includes but is not limited to activities throughout the year preparing for the Hershey events or activities taking place in or on a Hershey event platform, Hershey-contracted venues, or taking place online or via social media (i.e., postings to Hershey-related Facebook, Twitter and similar pages, including meeting hashtags), including social events.

Registrants will be required to agree to the following code of conduct to register for and attend the conference and any associated conference events.

The Hershey Conference is committed to fostering a welcoming environment that is safe, collaborative, and productive for dialogue and discovery for all participants. All who register to participate, attend, speak, sponsor, or exhibit at a Hershey event agree to comply with this policy.

The code guides the expected, professional behavior of attendees and delegates as:

  • Treat everyone with respect and consideration

  • Respect common-sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, courtesy, and respect for colleagues and private property

  • Communicate openly and thoughtfully with others, being considerate of the multitude of views and opinions that are different than your own

  • Be respectful and mindful in your critique of ideas; Session Chairs will promote rigorous discussion of all science presented in a manner respectful to all sessions and attendees

  • All participants must comply with instructions given by the moderator and/or Hershey event staff

  • Comply with all local, state, and federal laws

  • All data involving human subjects must be approved by the local Institutional Review Board, and data including animal work must be approved by local and institutional animal care and use committees.


Hershey prohibits any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Unacceptable behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • Abuse, bullying, or intimidation, including any verbal, written, or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate, or coerce any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, staff member, service provider or other meeting guest

  • Verbal harassment, including comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person's nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, body, disability or appearance, including epithets, slurs, and negative stereotyping

  • Nonverbal harassment, including distribution, display, or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles, or shows hostility, aversion, or disrespect toward an individual or group because of national origin, race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, sexual identity, marital or other protected status

  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations

  • Threatening, stalking or sexually harassing any participant meeting guest or staff


The following behaviors are strictly prohibited at any Hershey events:

  • Disruption of any presentation, exhibit hall activity, or any other events throughout the meeting.

  • Screen capturing, recording, photographing, broadcast, distributing, or unauthorized publication of any sessions or presentations or materials presented at Hershey events. This includes, but is not limited to, slides, video or text chat, audio recordings, live digital feeds, or other forms of digital information sharing.

  • Transferring, sharing, publishing, or copying login, access credentials, hyperlinks, or other materials intended for the use of individual access to Hershey content.

Report a Code of Conduct Violation

Violations of this Code of Conduct Policy should be reported immediately. Participants who feel physically unsafe or believe a crime has been committed should contact local police immediately.

All participants are expected to alert venue security or Hershey personnel of any dangerous situations, violations of this Conduct Policy, or if anyone is in distress, following the process detailed below.

To report a Code of Conduct violation, participants may:


Allegations regarding misconduct by participants are taken very seriously. Hershey encourages prompt reporting of violations so immediate action can be taken to address the concern. Reports will be reviewed promptly by the Hershey Planning and Scientific Committees. If any of the Planning or Scientific Committee members are named in an allegation, they may be excluded from any review actions.

Participants asked by anyone to stop engaging in hostile or harassing behaviors are expected to comply immediately. This behavior will not be tolerated and may result in immediate expulsion from a session, event, or the Hershey Meeting, including future Hershey Meetings or other Hershey-related events, either virtual or held-in-person, and/or deactivation of login credentials or other access mechanisms.