Microbiological Sensitive Issues

“The Council Policy Committee of the American Society for Microbiology affirms the long-standing position of the Society that microbiologists will work for the proper and beneficent application of science and will call to the attention of the public or the appropriate authorities misuse of microbiology or of information derived from microbiology. ASM members are obligated to discourage any use of microbiology contrary to the welfare of humankind, including the use of microbes as biological weapons. Bioterrorism violates the fundamental principles expressed in the Code of Ethics of the Society and is abhorrent to the ASM and its members.”

As described in the Council Policy Committee Resolution, the ASM recognizes that there are valid concerns regarding the presentation of scientific information that could be used inappropriately. Members of the ASM Meetings Board will evaluate any rare abstract that might raise such issues during the review process. To ensure that the Meetings Board in its administration of all ASM meetings complies with the policy statement, the following procedures have been implemented:

If a sensitive abstract is accepted following discussion with the author(s), the resulting poster will be flagged for monitoring of the presentation during the meeting. Additionally, the author may be requested to submit a copy of the poster presentation a week prior to the meeting for review by the Committee Chair.

 

Abstract Review Procedures
Abstract reviewers for each of ASM’s meetings or conferences will alert the Chair of the Program Committee for that meeting if, in their judgment, the abstract under review describes misuses of microbiology or of information derived from microbiology.

If in the view of the Chair after consultation with the Chair of the Meetings Board, the abstract is believed to contain sensitive material, the Chair of the Program Committee will contact the submitting author(s) for clarification. The Chair of the Program Committee and the Chair of the Meetings Board together may render a decision or, at their discretion, consult the entire Meetings Board to determine whether to resume the review process or to decline the abstract and return it to the author. 

If a sensitive abstract is accepted following discussion with the author(s), the resulting poster will be flagged for monitoring of the presentation during the meeting. Additionally, the author may be requested to submit a copy of the poster presentation a week prior to the meeting for review by the Committee Chair.

 

Poster Review Procedure
The abstract submission does not provide a full description of information presented at the meeting. For this reason poster sessions will be monitored on an ongoing basis as part of the responsibility of Program Committee members. If a presentation is found to contain sensitive information, the Chair of the Committee will notify the presenter in writing