Opinion: I’ve seen the culture of sexual harassment at NIH. The agency needs to do more than simply apologize

The National Institutes of Health apologized Thursday for failing to address sexual harassment within the influential and powerful organization. They also put forward a set of solutions. It’s about time — this harmful culture has affected scientists for decades.

Having worked in labs across multiple institutions, including at the NIH, I’ve heard accounts of sexual harassment from numerous female scientists and lab workers. These stories never rose to the level of meriting formal complaints. They represent a collection of off-color jokes and comments and inappropriate compliments often directed at young women at the onset of their careers. Women who couldn’t possibly risk pushing back on the remarks.

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