Terms and Conditions

 AAAS Community Mission and Vision Statement

The mission of AAAS Community is to enhance communication among AAAS Members in order to advance STEM throughout the world for the benefit of all people, by providing a safe, inclusive forum where anyone with an interest in science can collaborate; engage in discourse; network; and share events and resources related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. AAAS Community offers AAAS Members a place where “Science Gets Social.” Our responsibility is to foster productive discussion threads for AAAS Members to discuss STEM topics. Our vision is for AAAS Community to become the premier network where scientists and non-scientists alike connect and share ideas in a manner that enhances and reinforces AAAS’ mission to advance science and serve society. 

If you ever wish to give us feedback on AAAS Community, visit our feedback page. 

 

AAAS Community is not the appropriate place for service requests, and MemberCentral Support will not see requests made there. Please submit all service requests by contacting MemberCentral Support at membership@aaas.org or by phone M-F 8:30 am – 6:00 pm EST (202) 326-6417,  toll-free  at 866-434-2227. 

 
Terms and Conditions 

Effective: March 1, 2021 

Thank you for being part of our community. To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation. 
 
By joining and using this community, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and guidelines. You also agree to reserve discussions, shared files and content that are best suited to the medium. This is a great medium with which to solicit the advice of your peers, benefit from their experience, and participate in an ongoing conversation. Questions should be directed to our MemberCentral Support via the Contact Us link on this site. 
 
Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these important guidelines. If you have questions, contact MemberCentral Support. In order to preserve an environment that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate membership in this community for anyone who violates these rules. 

We reserve the right to modify these Terms whenever necessary. If we make changes, we will post the updated Terms online and update the Effective Date above. We may also notify you either by (1) sending an email to the address associated with your Account or (2) by otherwise providing notice through our online member forum. Your continued access or use of AAAS Community on or after the Effective Date of the revised Terms, shall be deemed an acceptance of the modification(s). If you do not agree to the revised Terms, you must stop accessing AAAS Community. 

The Rules 

Fully Moderated AAAS Member Community (Community Monitors will review all posts before they are published) 

  • All members are automatically added to the Member Community, where AAAS staff start threads and members participate.  
    • Mission: The Member Community is like a friendly STEM coffee shop where AAAS staff maintain positive, informative discussions and reject negativity and debate. Thread examples include AAAS announcements, an Introduce Yourself thread, general science news, and guided discussions like Tell Me About It Expert Q&As with other members in our community.  
    • Rules of Conduct: All new posts will be reviewed, and any harmfully biased, argumentative or unproductive comments will be rejected by staff.*   
    • Any member-attempts to initiate threads in this community, and any comments that don’t fall within the Member Community topics will be rejected and instructions provided for moving the discussion to one of the other, relevant communities. 
    • The Feedback Thread is where you can provide feedback on AAAS Community and AAAS, and make new thread suggestions for the Member Community. 


Self-Moderated Communities (Community Monitors will review and take action on posts that are flagged by members using the Mark as Inappropriate function.) These communities have different missions as well as rules of conduct.  

  • Supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM Community – a self-moderated community with strict Rules of Conduct beyond our general Terms and Conditions. Staff will review and take action on posts that are flagged by members using the Mark as Inappropriate function. * 
    • Mission: The DEI community is a committed space for nurturing productive discussion about DEI among those who support DEI efforts.  It seeks to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from STEM, by encouraging the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse scientists. The DEI community aims to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices within STEM.  
    • Rules of Conduct: 
      • As a self-moderated community, members are empowered to create a safe space in the community by using the Mark as Inappropriate function to report anything that does not follow our Terms and Conditions or the DEI Mission and Rules of Conduct. 
      • Staff will reject comments that are argumentative, harmfully biased, or in opposition to DEI efforts when they are marked as inappropriate by community members.   
      • Staff will remove community members who are anti-DEI efforts when their posts are marked as inappropriate by other community members.  
  • Women in STEM Community – a self-moderated community with strict Rules of Conduct beyond our general Terms and Conditions. Staff will review and take action on posts that are flagged by members using the Mark as Inappropriate function. * 
    • Mission: The Women in STEM community is a committed space for engaging in positive and uplifting discussions centering on Women in STEM at all levels. Engage here to read and share inspiring stories, videos, and even cool books or articles. This community supports the beauty of diversifying the sciences and what we can learn from each other by doing so. 
    • Rules of Conduct: 
      • As a self-moderated community, members are empowered to create a safe space in the community by using the Mark as Inappropriate function to report anything that does not follow our Terms and Conditions or the Women in STEM Mission and Rules of Conduct. 
      • Staff will reject comments that are disruptively biased, or in opposition to Women in STEM efforts when they are marked as inappropriate by community members.   
      • Staff will remove community members who are anti-Women in STEM efforts when their posts are marked as inappropriate by other community members.
  • Students and Postdocs Community – a self-moderated community with strict Rules of Conduct beyond our general Terms and Conditions. Staff will review and take action on posts that are flagged by members using the Mark as Inappropriate function. 
    • Mission: The Students and Postdocs Community fosters a safe, positive environment for engagement, learning and networking 
    • Rules of Conduct: Violators of this community’s strict rules for engagement will be deleted from the community.* 
      • As a self-moderated community, members are empowered to create a safe space in the community by using the Mark as Inappropriate function to report anything that does not follow our Terms and Conditions or the Students and Postdocs Community Mission and Rules of Conduct. 
      • Staff will reject comments that are not constructive or perceived as hurtful when they are marked as inappropriate by community members.   
      • Staff will remove community members whose posts do not align with the  
      • Students and Postdocs Community mission.
  • Local Science Engagement Network Community  
    • Mission: The Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) Community is a space to strengthen the voice of science and scientists at the grassroots, local and state levels.    
    • Rules of Conduct: This is a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Climate Change Connections Community  
    • Mission: The Climate Change Connections Community is a space to discuss questions and comments related to climate change, provide resources and share insights.   
    • Rules of Conduct: This is a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Tracking COVID-19 and Emerging Infectious Diseases 
    • Mission: The Tracking COVID-19 and Emerging Infectious Diseases Community is a space to discuss COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases around the world. 
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Advocating for Research & Development Community–  
    • Mission: The Advocating for Research & Development Community is a space to support R&D around the world and share ways to better support and advocate for it.    
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Science Publications Discussion Café-   
    • Mission: Gather to discuss and chat about the latest from the Science family of publications.  
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • STEAM Enthusiasts Community –  
    • Mission: The STEAM Enthusiasts Community is a space to connect and discuss the many ways pop culture and art connect to STEM.    
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Ask a Scientist Community –  
    • Mission: Have a question about science? This is a space for you. Join in the Ask a Scientist Community to ask a question related to STEM and receive answers from other members of our scientific community. 
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 
  • Science in History Community –  
    • Mission: The Science in History Community is a space for history fans and enthusiasts to chat about the history of STEM.  
    • Rules of Conduct: This a self-moderated community that follows the General Rules for All Communities. We acknowledge that this community may invite healthy debate, and these conversations may be difficult. Community Monitors aim to avoid disrupting the flow of conversation, so enter at your discretion and use the self-moderation tool to report violations of our Terms and Conditions.* 

 

*Staff review of comments may take up to 3 business days, and AAAS Community Monitors may reject any comment at their discretion. Keep in mind that strict moderation is not always possible. We do our best to enforce our guidelines, but we may miss some violations. You can help by using the Mark as Inappropriate function to flag comments. 

General Rules for All Communities 

  1. Hate speech in any form is not permitted on AAAS Community. Hate speech is anything that attacks, harms or offensively generalizes a group of people or population, based on what are known as their protected characteristics — which are race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, serious disability or disease. We’re committed to removing hate speech any time we become aware of it. Use the Mark as Inappropriate function to bring hate speech to our attention.   
  2. AAAS prohibits any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. This includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or that is determined to be a personal attack. Harassment includes stalking and unwelcome attention**. Report harassment here.*** 
  3. Remember, the best way to bring inappropriate posts or comments to staff attention is to use the Mark as Inappropriate function for staff to review. These inappropriate comments may be deleted by AAAS Community Monitors at our sole discretion. Inappropriate* posts can include anything that may be viewed as defamatory, libelous, antagonistic, off-topic, or even be considered an invasion of privacy or violation of the rights of another user, person or party. 
  4. Respect others. Focus on the content of posts and not on the people making them, in order to provide a safe space for everyone to share their ideas. Remember, this platform is a forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful and fair manner. We encourage engagement and friendly discourse but do not condone disrespectful or seemingly offensive language and/or images including links or memes 
  5. Respect the purpose of the community, which is to foster dialogue and the exchange of ideas. Use the community to share successes, challenges, constructive feedback, questions and goals. 
  6. Do not use the community to advertise faculty positions or solicit business for a product or service that you provide, even if it is free. If your experience with a third-party product or service may benefit the discussion or community, please share your experience with the group in a respectful way.  
  7. Be cautious to remember that personal or contact information posted in your signature or on your profile, in the discussion groups and in the libraries is available for all AAAS Members to see, and comments are subject to defamation and antitrust laws. 
  8. All defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, illegal or materials that do not align with the AAAS Community Mission and Vision are strictly prohibited. Do not post anything that you would not want the world to see or that you would not want anyone to know came from you. 
  9. Do not wrongfully represent yourself; for example, by claiming certain qualifications or degrees that you have not obtained. If you are found to be wrongfully representing yourself, your comments will be deleted or potentially banned from the AAAS Community. Do not impersonate, speak for, or claim to represent another user, person, or party. In other words, do not post on the behalf of someone else. 
  10. Respect intellectual property. Post content that you have personally created or have permission to use and have properly attributed to the content creator. 
  11. When posting items in our collaborative environment, please indicate if the item is not available for reuse. It’s also advisable to contact the owner of any material if you would like to reuse it. 
  12. Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate communities. This helps ensure all messages receive the best response by eliminating "noise." 
  13. Do not disrupt healthy, productive discussion. This means do: stay on topic, state your question or statement once and then move on. This means do not: repeat your question or statement in a combative manner, post comments unrelated to the topic or interrupt the discussion’s flow. 
  14. While anonymous commenting is permitted on AAAS Community, the function exists to protect a person’s identity when asking questions or obtaining information. The anonymous function will not protect commenters from being held accountable to the AAAS Community Terms and Conditions. AAAS Staff can see the identity of anonymous commenters and may screen or completely delete these kinds of posts at our discretion. 
  15. Please note, there may be monitoring or moderation that happens behind the scenes on AAAS Community. AAAS Staff may reach out to a member one-on-one through private messaging or place the member on moderation if an issue is brought to staff’s attention. Report issues here. 

*Inappropriate: can include anything that may be viewed as defamatory, libelous, antagonistic, off-topic, or even be considered an invasion of privacy or violation of the rights of another user, person or party. 

 **Unwelcome attention: any communication that continues after the recipient has asked you to stop. 

 ***Harassment: conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety. 

 

Discussion Group Etiquette 

  1. State concisely and clearly the topic of your post in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. If your post does not have a concise or clear subject, you may be advised by a AAAS Community Monitor to update the subject before it can be posted. Do not include another member’s name in your subject line. 
  2. Please extend the benefit of the doubt to newer guests and members; there’s no such thing as a stupid question. 
  3. Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals, not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply Privately" link in every message. To access it, click on the downward arrow next to the “REPLY” button and a drop-down menu will appear. 
  4. Refrain from sending administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list,” to the group. Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing email addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new email address. Simply change your settings. For tips on how to change your settings, visit ourFAQ or Contact Us. 
  5. We encourage members to utilize the "Recommend" button as this is a collective way for members to endorse a post to others. 
  6. Is it okay to post on old threads on AAAS Community? Yes! This type of commenting, sometimes known as “necroposting”, refers to commenting or replying on a thread that has been inactive for some time. Adding to an older thread with information that no one else has mentioned, and especially if the topic is still relevant or unresolved, may help spark new discussion and “breathe” new life into an important discussion!