Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) Code of Conduct

The Royal Microscopical Society is committed to providing a safe, respectful, harassment-free, accessible, productive, and welcoming environment for all RMS event participants and RMS staff, with equity in rights for all.  All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, RMS staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all RMS events, either in person or virtual,  and also includes those sponsored by organisations other than the RMS but held in conjunction with RMS events, in public or private facilities.

Expected Behaviour

  • All participants, attendees, exhibitors and RMS staff are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions. 
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, exhibitors and RMS staff.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants.
  • Alert RMS staff/organisers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, RMS contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • In virtual events, make use of the ‘raise your hand’ function or the chat box to contribute to discussion and wait to be invited to speak by the host.
  • Be considerate and respectful when speaking or using the chat function.

Unacceptable Behaviour

  • Overt and/or covert acts of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, RMS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to, verbal or virtual chat function comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, RMS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest both in person or online.

  • Recording or taking photography of another individual’s presentation without the explicit permission of the speaker is not allowed.  The only exception to this is that the first slide (with the name of the individual) can be photographed, so that it can be tweeted
  • Sustained disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibition hall, or at other events organized by the RMS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other RMS-contracted facilities.
  • Not abiding by the instructions for virtual events, emailed to you by the RMS. This includes but is not limited to:   
    • talking over the hosts, other presenters or participants when they are speaking
    • not muting your microphone or switching off your video if asked
    • attempting to share your screen without permission
    • if you are presenting, not sticking to the guidance provided e.g. over running on time or exceeding permitted number of slides
    • using the chat function publicly or privately to verbally abuse or harass another attendee in the event
    • disrupting others when they are speaking or presenting in any way
    • sharing the links to meetings with non-registered participants


  • We expect everyone to follow these rules during all events as well as in any social media coverage.
  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately.
  • RMS staff (or their designee) or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund.
  • The RMS reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future RMS event or any event held in conjunction with an RMS event.

Reporting Unacceptable Behaviour

  • If you are the subject of, or have been subjected to unacceptable behaviour, or have witnessed any such behaviour, please immediately notify an RMS staff member, or event organiser.
  • Notification should be done by contacting an RMS staff on site or by emailing your concern to [email protected]. If in a virtual event, please private message the attendee named ‘Royal Microscopical Society’ in the chat function, as they are the host for the event.
  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behaviour that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 999 and locate a house phone and ask for security.

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