Richard Schneider has resigned as the co-director of a well-respected embryology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, Nature News reports. It adds that the situation underscores that academic institutions are unsure of how to address researchers who were previously found to have violated codes of conduct.
In 2013, an investigation by the University of California, San Francisco, found Schneider violated the institution's sexual harassment policy, as he had a covert sexual relationship with a graduate student in his lab, Nature News says. It adds that the findings of the investigation did not become public until 2017, after he had been selected to co-direct the embryology summer course at MBL.
The head of MBL, Nipam Patel, tells Nature News that the institute was unaware of Schneider's violation when he was appointed and says that MBL is developing a process for handling researchers who violated codes of conduct at other institutions. "Frankly, most institutions are not going to tell us this information," Patel tells it, "so that is our challenge."
Michigan State University's Julie Libarkin notes, though, that there are online databases like one she created that house information on sexual harassment claims that have been made publicly available.