Policies, Terms, and Conditions

Privacy Statement

Demographic Survey FAQs

Social Media Policy

Respectful Conduct Statement

Respectful Conduct Policy

Privacy Statement

Privacy Policy


Demographic Survey FAQs

What will we do with the data?

Our primary aim in collecting demographic data is to monitor longitudinal trends in the PSA membership, conference and journal submissions, and conference participation. More specifically we will: 

  • Scrutinize composite data retrospectively to identify potential inequities in acceptance/rejection rates and in participation rates and roles in PSA-sponsored conference and publication programs, as well as in PSA governance. 

  • Provide the PSA President and Governing Board, the biennial conference program committees and the journal editorial team, with composite data that can inform the design of policies and procedures to counteract any inequities identified through retrospective analysis. 

  • Share composite data with PSA committees that are charged with developing inclusiveness initiatives designed to recruit and support members of groups traditionally under-represented in philosophy of science, and in philosophy, the sciences, and academia more generally. These include, for example, facilitating mentoring programs such as UPSS (Underrepresented Philosophy of Science Student Mentoring Initiative), and the work of the Women's Caucus, and the Diversity and Climate Committee.

  • Compare the demographic profile of the PSA with that of peer societies as a basis for assessing how the PSA is doing with respect to inclusiveness, and for consulting with them about effective strategies for recruiting, retaining, and meeting the needs and interests of a diverse membership.

Why ask the questions in these formats?

We are using a mix of field-tested categories that will allow comparison with existing demographic databases, and open-ended questions that allow respondents to self-identify in terms of categories that best reflect their identities. 

The former – the pre-defined options included in the sections on gender identity, sexual orientation and race/ethnicity categories – have been drawn from demographic survey instruments that are based on extensive empirical testing and stakeholder consultation. These include the guidelines for constructing inclusive and functional demographic questions from the Consortium of Higher Education and of LGBTQ Affairs (University of Arizona) and question sets used by sister organizations in philosophy, for example, in the APA member surveys and Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy Directory. 

Given the dearth of broad-spectrum demographic data on the PSA we hope that the open-ended and "please specify" questions will provide us the qualitative guidance we need to design future surveys that track demographic trends relevant to our goals and programs. This will be an ongoing process: as PSA's makeup changes, so must our survey tools.

Are these kinds of demographic question going to be asked from now on?

All demographic methods should be treated as iterative. As we learn from your responses to open-ended questions, as the demography of the PSA changes, and as our programming requirements evolve we will be revising the questions we ask. We welcome your advice and input! Please contact the PSA at: office@philsci.org.


Social Media Policy


Increasingly, members of academic disciplines including philosophy are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to broadcast information from professional conferences to a wider audience. However, norms around the use of social media tools at professional conferences have not yet solidified, and some conference participants may feel uneasy at the potential for social media coverage to misrepresent their claims or to broaden their audience in an unwelcome way.


The biennial conferences of the Philosophy of Science Association allow members to share their research with a wider audience. Social media can help extend that audience to members not at the meeting, and to the public. Norms around the use of social media in academic culture are still emerging. Meeting attendees using social media to broadcast content from the conference to a broader audience are asked to engage with respect and professionalism. Do not post images from presentations without consent. Be clear about when you are posting the words or claims of a presenter and when you are posting your own opinion on a presentation. Be considerate of presenters' requests for no social media coverage; they may be sharing work with their peers at this conference to foster discussion and feedback, but feel that the findings are not ready for wider consumption. If you prefer that your presentation not be shared via social media, communicate that clearly to your audience.


Respectful Conduct Statement


The Philosophy of Science Association is committed to providing a safe, hospitable, and productive environment for everyone present, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender expression/gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or age.  PSA values freedom of expression, constructive and respectful dialogue, and spirited discussion.  Harassing behavior, including sexual harassment, undermines these goals. This statement affirms the principle that all attendees at PSA biennial meetings have an equal right to full participation, consistent with their duties and obligations as meeting participants and PSA members, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender expression/gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or age, and to be free from harassment and intimidation in the performance of these duties and obligations.  PSA expects its members to extend respectful treatment not only to other PSA members, but also to conference volunteers and to employees of PSA conference venues.


Conduct and Harassment Policy

Harassment of Philosophy of Science Association ("PSA") employees, members, or volunteers and other individuals attending ("attendee") PSA operated, sponsored and/or affiliated events on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, disability, or other basis, including sexual harassment (as defined and protected by applicable law), is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has been defined generally as including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature whenever: (1) submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment; (2) an individual's reaction to the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work performance; or (4) the conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

No employee, member, volunteer, or attendee should be subjected to sexual harassment or unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures, nor should any employee, member, volunteer, or attendee be led to believe that any benefit will in any way depend upon "cooperation" of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is not limited to demands for sexual favors.  It also may include such actions as: (1) sex-oriented verbal "kidding," "teasing," or jokes; (2) repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; (3) continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature; (4) graphic or degrading comments about an individual or his or her appearance; (5) the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; (6) subtle pressure for sexual activity; and (7) inappropriate physical contact.

Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature or consensual personal and social relationships without a discriminatory employment effect. It refers to behavior that is not welcome and that is personally intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

Other Unlawful Harassment or Conduct

Harassment on other grounds, including race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, or disability is also prohibited. Harassment may include such actions as: (1) jokes or verbal "kidding," or "teasing;" (2) verbal abuse and epithets; (3) degrading comments; (4) the display of offensive objects and pictures; (5) conduct or comments of a lewd or lascivious nature; and (6) other conduct that the individual might reasonably find to be intimidating, hostile, offensive, coercive, or threatening.

Scope of Policy

This policy prohibiting harassment, whether sexual or of another nature, is not limited to relationships between and among employees, members and volunteers, but also extends to interaction with attendees and vendors.  No officer, director, members, or other volunteer shall subject any employee, member, volunteer, attendee, or vendor to sexual or other harassment of any nature, including that conduct described above.  Any forms of harassment as described in this policy are reportable to the PSA President, President-Elect, and Past President.

PSA will fully investigate all complaints and will maintain confidentiality to the extent possible. Anyone who is found to have engaged in harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include the following: (1) a written reprimand or censure; (2) a request for resignation; (3) removal of such person from the individual's position within PSA; or (4) termination of the individual's membership, employment, engagement, and/or participation in current and/or future PSA operated, sponsored and/or affiliated events.  No individual will be retaliated against for making a complaint or assisting with the investigation of a complaint.