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Fire NIH Ethics Chief Lawrence Tabak

This petition had 477 supporters

The National Institutes of Heath invests over 37 billion dollars a year in US biomedical research. The majority of this money goes to research scientists and clinicians on college campuses.

For 46 years, the NIH leadership has failed to provide basic protections for women that required by Title IX law. These protections include a safe workspace free from grabbing, groping, sexual assault, rape and retaliation. Not once since Title IX has been in place has the NIH taken funding away from a university for allowing a professor to harass their trainees. Not once has NIH removed a professor from a training grant after they sexually assaulted a colleague. This is unacceptable and Time is Up.

On November 9, Principal Deputy Director and the Deputy Ethics Counselor Lawrence Tabak spoke to attendees discussing the National Academy of Sciences report on the impact of sexual harassment on women in academia. Tabak said a consensual relationship between a professor and a trainee would be defined as one in which 'there was an intention to marry'. 

This is horrifying and dangerous. Any sexual contact between a professor and trainee is illegal. Criminal acts can not be overlooked because an individual changes their 'intent'. Tabak needs to leave immediately. NIH is dangerously off course and lacks clarity and basic decency on issues of safety.

We, the undersigned, demand his immediate resignation and an immediate prioritization of safety.


Anyone who has further information on his misguided ideas or actions is encouraged to come forward in the Comments or using the #MeTooSTEM hashtag.  

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