DES Statement on Collaboration Culture, Ethics, Inclusivity and Diversity

The success of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) relies on a truly collaborative, team-oriented approach. Maintaining a strong and healthy collaboration requires open, respectful communication and a shared commitment to a set of values that include ethical conduct, civility, inclusiveness, and diversity. 
As a collaboration, we are committed to the following values:

  • We are committed to honesty, integrity, and the highest professional and ethical standards of conduct in our research, management, and communications. 
  • We are committed to respecting the full spectrum of views held by our members. Each person’s contribution is valued, and his/her opinion should be treated with civility. We strive to uphold a collegial spirit rooted in respect for all people, free of discrimination and non‐inclusive behavior.
  • We strive to create a collaborative environment in which all scientists feel comfortable, free of inappropriate or offensive language or behavior. 
  • We recognize the intrinsic relationship between diversity and excellence in our collaboration and acknowledge that an inclusive environment creates opportunities for participation and innovation that benefits the collaboration as a whole.   

The DES collaboration comprises scientists from multiple institutions and countries, with diverse cultural and scientific backgrounds, who have come together to build, operate, and make scientific discoveries with the project. Diversity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, age, cultural background, nationality, military status, discipline or field, and experience.
If anyone involved in DES perceives that a violation of any of these values has occurred, or if a disagreement among members with regard to these values arises, that member or those members may in confidence contact one of the two DES Ombudspersons, whose roles can include providing advice on possible courses of action and, if appropriate, making a recommendation for action to the DES Director. The nature of the Ombudsperson’s role is described further below. Note that disagreements with regard to publication matters shall be resolved by the procedures described in Sec. II of the DES Publication Policy.
Nothing in this Statement should be construed as conflicting with or replacing workplace codes of conduct at the institutions of those involved in DES.

DES Ombudspersons

The DES Ombudspersons provide confidential, informal, independent, and neutral advisory services for anyone involved in DES on matters pertaining to collaboration values, including dispute resolution services. The Ombudspersons assist DES scientists in identifying and evaluating options for dealing with possible values violations and for resolving and managing conflicts, provides informal mediation services as necessary, and can make referrals to appropriate academic and community resources. The Ombudspersons can help with issues and conflicts that arise in DES Working Group interactions, at collaboration meetings, or other DES events, not with problems internal to an academic institution, which can usually be mediated by the appropriate offices in that institution.

The Ombudspersons are familiar with the organizational structure of the DES and can provide current information about services, programs, policies, and procedures. To maintain independence from conflicts of interest, DES shall have two Ombudspersons from two different DES institutions; DES scientists can contact whichever Ombudsperson they feel is appropriate. In keeping with the informal, confidential, and independent role, notice to the Ombudsperson about a problem does not result in the generation of records, nor does it constitute legal notice to the institutions of the scientists involved about the existence of a problem.

The DES Ombudspersons report only to the DES Director, but do not share any confidential information. The DES Ombudspersons may be members of the collaboration, but should not have any other leadership or supervisory role that may compromise their impartiality.