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NAS Expels Member

The US National Academy of Sciences has ousted an astronomer from its membership rolls, the first time it has ejected a member, Buzzfeed News reports. It adds that Geoff Marcy, who resigned from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2015 and whose work focused on developing ways to find planets outside the Earth's solar system, has been accused of sexually harassing students.

As Buzzfeed News notes, his expulsion comes following changes to the NAS bylaws. In 2019, NAS voted to approve an amendment allowing the expulsion of members for violating its code of conduct. That, in turn, came after Inder Verma, then at the Salk Institute and editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was accused of sexual harassment. While Verma resigned from the Salk and as editor-in-chief of PNAS, the academy said at the time it had no mechanism to remove him from its membership.

According to Nature News, Marcy's membership in NAS was revoked as of May 24.

Verma's membership as well as that of Francisco Ayala, formerly at the University of California, Irvine, are also under review for possible expulsion, Buzzfeed News adds.