Code of Conduct (reporting) protocol

Note this document may get updated at any time. Last change made on Sep 20, 2019. We adhere to the Contributor Covenant and may make additional judgments for unforeseen situations.

Liberate Science’s events and spaces strive to provide an environment for individuals to be unimpeded in their presence and in making contributions. We actively intervene in case this aim is threatened, we have a no-barriers reporting standard, and we actively encourage reports to our own mishaps or improvement points.

“We” in this document refers to the space-coordinators of Liberate Science, who may always be contacted. All our space-coordinators have undergone a Code of Conduct training. Internal coordinators are always available, external coordinators are available if you feel there is a conflict in reporting to someone embedded within the space (e.g., about the person themselves, issues with our Liberate Science organizing).

Who Gender E-mail Usual timezone Type Role
Chris Hartgerink Man (he/him/they/them) UTC+2 Internal Chair
Rachael Ainsworth Woman (she/her) UTC+1 External

To achieve a space where everyone can be present and contribute, our protocol is set up to, if reasonably possible, grow past the issues that occur if people are willing to. We operate under the motto that we permit you to take part in our spaces and events; we can remove that permission at any time.

Making a report

We have a no-barriers reporting standard. That means you do not need to judge whether what occurred is “bad enough” to be reported. It also means the incident does not need to happen to you personally; if it affects you, you may report it. All legal persons may be reported (e.g., individual persons, organizations).

To make a report, you can reach out to the space-coordinator(s). In physical events, event specific information will contain additional information on how to recognize who you can make incident reports with on-site.

Reports are treated as confidential documents and document:

  • Date and time
  • Location
  • Person taking the report
  • Reported person’s name/description
  • Description of the incident
  • Reporter name and contact info
  • Witness information (optional)

We require this information to adequately deal with situations and be able to contact the people involved. Information relating to natural persons (people) is not disclosed, except when actions are undertaken against a legal person (e.g., ban). Information relating to legal persons that are not natural persons (e.g., an organization) is publicly disclosed.

What happens with an incident report?

The incident report will be discussed by the committee of relevant and available space-coordinators in a closed meeting. This meeting must start within 2 hours after the report has been taken if it is an ongoing event; otherwise within 48 hours after taking the report. If the report pertains to an acute situation (e.g., racist remarks by workshop leader), space-coordinators may take immediate action.

In the meeting, we will discuss the behavior, its reported impact, how public the behavior was, and the reported person’s previous incidents and outcomes (if any).

Based on the impact-public assessment, a proposal will be made that allows the reported person to stay in the community if accepted. In case of multiple valid proposals, a majority vote will provide resolution. In case of a tie, the chair has the decisive vote between the tied proposals.

The higher the impact of the behavior, the more demanding the proposal must be for the reported; the more public the behavior, the more public the response. Proposals must include the reported person taking responsibility for the behavior’s impact, must provide a commitment to prevent repeating similar situations.

The consequences of rejecting the proposal by the reported person will be deliberated as well. These consequences must be specific and more demanding than the proposal, given that the unwillingness to take responsibility is something this community does not welcome.

Subsequently, we will reach out to the reported person with the proposal and consequences of rejecting it. Both are non-negotiable and non-dependent on declarations of intent.

Finally, a synopsis of the report, the proposal, and the outcome will be posted to the Liberate Science Forum. For natural persons, the synopsis is anonymized.

You have been reported

People make mistakes and we as space-coordinators recognize that. Whether people choose to take responsibility for their impact and address their behavior accordingly, is what is key in this community.

Depending on the impact and the publicness of the mistake, we will propose a way for you to stay in our events and spaces, if reasonably possible. We will also clearly state what will happen if you do not accept that proposal. These are non-negotiable at this stage.

Until you have reached a decision upon being presented with the proposal, you are not allowed to participate in any Liberate Science events and spaces for the protection of the reporter’s mental health and privacy.


Appeals to procedures by internal space-coordinators are referred to the external space-coordinators. Appeals to procedures by the external space-coordinators will be referred to an independent third-party consultant.

Appeals must include a clear case upon submission and proportional outcome change. A case may include for example strong disconfirming evidence that the reported behavior ever occurred, joined with the proportional outcome change that a ban is lifted.

Synopses of appeals will also be posted to the Liberate Science Forum, in the same thread as the original synopsis.