SIAM Honors and Awards Policy
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) confers honors and awards, including but not limited to the designation of SIAM fellow and the honor of being the name of an award that will be conferred on others. SIAM confers honors on individuals for significant contributions to the field or to the interests of the field; awards of these honors are determined in the Society’s judgment and discretion. The Society retains the right to grant, defer or decline to grant an Honor to any person. The Society also retains the right to revoke or suspend an Honor already granted if, in its judgment and discretion, the Society determines that it is in the best interests of the field to do so. Suspension means the Honor (and the ability of the recipient to exercise any associated privileges and rights) are held in abeyance until notice by the Society that the Honor is reinstated or revoked.
See the glossary at the end of this policy for definitions of key terms.
Underlying Policy Rationale — Interests of Excellence in the Field.
While not the only interest that is critical for excellence in the field and is considered by the Society in deciding who should hold an Honor, professional ethics is an important such interest. When the Society awards an Honor, the Honor reflects the Society’s judgment that an individual’s contributions to, and effect on, the field are exemplary. The Society takes into account the effect on the field of the totality of the individual’s work and professional and ethical conduct and reputation. It expects those who hold Honors to demonstrate that participation in and recognition by the field are privileges; and that the field’s leaders, and others it celebrates, embody highly professional and ethical conduct in their work, scientific integrity, and conduct in their personal affairs that likewise does not negatively impact their professional associations.
Unethical conduct includes, among other acts, scientific misconduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on factors unrelated to ability and promise (e.g., race and ethnicity), whether alone or intersecting with sexual harassment. These acts perpetuate longstanding structural and systemic barriers to full participation of all talent in the field, which have immediate adverse impact on individuals and undermine excellence in the field. Such unprofessional and unethical conduct may occur in research, learning/teaching, or practice. In renouncing such conduct, the Society promotes behavior of its leaders, honorees, and members that is aligned with its Code of Conduct.
Ethics Considerations in Awarding Honors
The Society finds, in its discretion, that determined unethical conduct of a current or prospective holder of an Honor—as well as credible, but undetermined, questions about the professional or ethical conduct of such an individual—can contribute to longstanding structural and systemic barriers in the field. Consequently, for the purpose of placing heavier weight on what is best for excellence in the field than what is best for any individual when the two must be balanced, the Society will not confer any Honor on any individual whose conduct has been determined to be unethical. That determination will be based on the Society’s own review and, if useful in the Society’s discretion, the Society’s consideration of any others’ determinations (with supporting information) made available to the Society.
The Society also will not confer any Honor on any individual whose professional or ethical conduct is the subject of a credible question known to the Society, so long as the question has not been finally and favorably determined to the Society’s satisfaction, in its discretion. Determined unethical conduct may also justify suspension or revocation of an Honor. When applying this policy in situations of credible but undetermined questions, the Society is withholding judgment and is not making a statement or determination regarding any individual. Rather, the Society is implementing a prophylactic measure to support the field’s priority efforts to break down longstanding barriers to excellence.
THE SOCIETY’S CONFERRAL OF AN HONOR IS AN EXERCISE OF ITS DISCRETION, NOT AN OBLIGATION. THE SOCIETY, IN ITS DISCRETION, MAY WITHHOLD, SUSPEND OR REVOKE AN HONOR IF ITS ASSESSMENT OF THE RECIPIENT’S ACTUAL OR POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE FIELD CHANGES FOR ANY MISSION-DRIVEN REASON.
Awareness of Conduct Issues—Required Disclosures: The Society is aware of conduct issues about the holder or potential recipient of an Honor if its Executive Director or any individual who participates (whether as staff, an advisor or a decision-maker) in the official Honors process is aware. These individuals must notify SIAM’s Executive Director, who will make the head of the Honors process aware.
Anyone who makes a nomination or recommendation will be asked to confirm to the Society Official, as part of the nomination process, that they know of no unprofessional or unethical conduct that the nominee has been engaged in, nor of a credible but undetermined question about the nominee’s conduct.
A person who is being considered for an Honor (upon becoming aware of being considered), or who holds an Honor, has a continuing duty to disclose to the Society Official the existence of any fact, situation, or circumstance that could be considered relevant to the Society’s decision whether to award the Honor under provisions of this Honors Policy. Failure to make a disclosure may result in the Society withholding, suspending or revoking an Honor, in the Society’s discretion.
Special Circumstances – Honors Held by Deceased Individuals.
Special circumstances arise when unprofessional and unethical conduct of a deceased person who holds an Honor is raised. The Society will exercise its discretion to address such situations on a case-by-case basis and may determine that no action is needed without heightened concerns. It will consider the following:
- A deceased person is unable to participate in an investigation or process, is unable to defend against allegations, e.g., of sexual harassment, or to participate in restorative remedies.
- A deceased person cannot continue unprofessional and unethical conduct, eliminating threats that the conduct will be ongoing.
- Unless heightened concerns for continuing impact on the field exist, the need to protect the interests of the field in eliminating barriers to inclusion may be limited, and the interest of fairness to the accused may be greater.
- Heightened concerns for impact on the field, even after death, may exist when the act of unprofessional and unethical conduct has been determined during a person’s lifetime (or is established by unequivocal facts) and is highly egregious (respecting a single event or frequency). This is particularly so when the deceased holder of the Honor is very prominent in the field, or the Honor is exceptional, or there is a named Honor continuing to be conferred on others.
- When action is warranted, it may range from revocation of the Honor to a statement about intolerance of the type of conduct raised. Revocation is an extraordinary remedy. The Society will exercise its judgment on a case- by-case basis. If a statement is made, the Society would speak to intolerance of the type of conduct raised, without judging or stating whether the conduct occurred, and without adding commentary to any existing determination made on the subject. When a statement is made, the Society may include examples of types of unprofessional and unethical conduct faced and consequential actions taken under the Society’s current policy generally, to demonstrate the authenticity of its intolerance for the type of conduct and mitigate impact on the field.
- The Society is not expected to newly investigate a question of professional and ethical conduct related to a deceased holder of an Honor.
Glossary of Key Terms
Honors: intended to include all SIAM awards (both major awards and SIAG awards), fellows designation and invited addresses.
Honors process: Honors and awards are the purview of the SIAM President and administered through the Vice President at Large via the Major Awards Committee.
Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination on the basis of sex, and includes one or more of the following:
- Sexual coercion or quid pro quo sexual harassment: when threats or rewards respecting educational or employment benefits, support, or status are conditioned on sexual favors. 
- Hostile environment sexual harassment: exposure in work- or education- related settings or activities to gratuitous (i.e., non-work related/unnecessary for the work) (a) sexual images, gestures, or remarks, (b) sexual insults, (c) non-sexual gender harassment (see below), or (d) unwelcome sexual attention—of such pervasiveness or severity as to interfere with a “reasonable person’s” ability to learn or work. (See reasonable person standard.) 
- Gender harassment: is a form of sexual harassment that includes sexism, or other non-sexual behaviors (including remarks and conduct) that demean, denigrate, devalue, and disrespect individuals on the basis of sex. 
- Sexual assault and battery, including but not limited to rape (which are crimes).
On the basis of sex: means on the basis of sex, gender identity, gender expression, failure to act according to gender stereotypes, and sexual orientation. 
Reasonable person standard: a threshold used in U.S. law to determine whether hostile environment sexual harassment has occurred. The facts are viewed through the eyes of a generic “reasonable person” in a similar circumstance, position, and relationship. Behavior (including comments, images, gestures, etc.) is evaluated to determine if it is gratuitous (i.e., not necessary for the work) and of such pervasiveness (frequency) or severity (even once) that it would interfere with a reasonable person’s ability to work or learn. What a reasonable person in similar circumstances would find harmful may change with societal norms and power/knowledge/positional differences among individuals involved.
Credible question (of professional and ethical conduct): when there is a question about whether or not a person’s conduct meets the Society’s high standards of professional and ethical conduct (e.g., whether the person sexually harassed others). The question may concern whether a person engaged in particular conduct—or whether particular conduct is unprofessional and unethical—or both. References to: questioned conduct; undetermined question; credible but undetermined question; determination of a question not yet made; and like phrases in the policy mean there is a credible question about any one or more of these concerns. A credible question is just that—it does not represent a judgment or conclusion about any person.
Whether a credible question exists, and whether standards of conduct are met, require the Society to make judgments. Some considerations are addressed below, but these judgments must be guided by the Society’s mission, standards and the specific factual situation:
- Typically, for a credible question to exist, there would be enough facts known to the Society, the accused’s home institution, or a government agency or other involved entity to warrant at least one of them conducting an informal or formal review of the questioned conduct and whether the facts are true, accurate and complete. However, a determination of the facts and question, one way or the other, has not yet been made—at all or to the Society’s satisfaction in its discretion.
- A credible question may arise from information provided by someone who is directly targeted or who is indirectly affected by the conduct at issue (e.g., a bystander, witness, or someone else who knows of the conduct). It may exist if the conduct at issue is sexual harassment, whether or not that label is used, or a formal complaint is filed. It may arise in a news report (followed by verifying key points for accuracy).
- If truth of an allegation is impossible—e.g., the accused was elsewhere and could not have been present—there is no credible question.
- Not all rumors raise credible questions. Conclusory, isolated rumors may not, if no salient facts are (even anonymously) provided and no affected people or witnesses come forward. Pervasive (even conclusory) rumors may create a credible question, though, particularly if persistent or if the subject of such rumors is prominent, and in a position of power, and there are reasons to believe those who may have the facts are fearful. 
A credible question may be resolved/determined by the Society’s own review, an outside authority’s determination (e.g., home institution, court, government agency) made available to the Society on which the Society relies, or both. The Society must be satisfied, in its discretion, that the question has been answered well enough to decide whether or not the person should hold the relevant Honor.
Determined conduct or determined question of conduct: after a credible question has been raised, there is a determination that a person’s conduct is or is not professional and ethical, meeting the Society’s standards of conduct (or not). This determination may be based on the Society’s own review, an outside authority’s determination made available to the Society and on which the Society relies, or both.
Discretion (the Society’s): means the Society’s decision, determination, judgment or application of criteria, is made in the Society’s sole and absolute discretion in pursuit of its mission. Such discretion is still not arbitrary or exercised for an illegal purpose (e.g. to discriminate on the basis of sex or race).
 This behavior violates federal nondiscrimination law covering educational programs and employment. Title IX applies to all educational programs and supporting administrative and other functions of any non-federal entity that receives federal funding for any—broadly defined—educational program. It protects students, faculty, staff, participants in, and applicants to educational programs. Title VII protects employees and applicants for employment. This behavior also violates some states’ laws and, for public institutions, the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
 These acts also violate federal and some states’ laws and, for public institutions, the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
 Academies Report, pp. 42, 25-27, 72 (noting research indicating that gender harassment is more pervasive than, and can cause harm equivalent to, sexual coercion and unwelcome sexual attention). The full breadth of gender harassment covered by this policy can be, but is not always, currently recognized by law as hostile environment sexual harassment. The law applies a reasonable person standard (influenced by societal norms) to determine whether that kind of sexual harassment has occurred. The law on discrimination against people who, based on their gender identity or expression, fail to act according to gender stereotypes, is developing in the courts, particularly as relates to transgender students (see footnote 10). However, the Court has long been clear that harassment based on male and female gender, even if not sexual, and gender-based stereotyping, can serve as the basis for a discrimination claim. See Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Ed., 526 U.S. 629, 650 (1999) (describing actionable harassment under Title IX to include male students threatening their female peers to prevent the female students use of a school resource); Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. 523 U.S. 75, 81 (1998) (holding that same sex harassment can be actionable, noting that harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire, and can be motivated by a “general hostility to the presence of women in the workplace”); Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 19 (1993) (allegations sufficient under Title VII included gender-based insults such as “you’re a woman, what do you know,” and “we need a man as a rental manager”); Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 235 (1989) (allegations actionable under Title VII were that consideration for holding off female plaintiff’s partnership included that plaintiff should “walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry,” and that she was “macho,” and “overcompensated for being a woman,” and that objections to her use of profanity were only “because it’s a lady using foul language.”). The United States Department of Education has also long stated that gender harassment, which may include acts of verbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex stereotyping, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, can be a form of sexual discrimination under Title IX. See USED OCR’s Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance (January 2001).
 The issue of gender identity and expression under Title IX is still developing in the courts. See Whitaker et. al. v. Kenosha Unified School District No. 1, 858 F.3d 1034, 47-52 (7th Cir. 2017) (upholding a preliminary injunction preventing a school district from enforcing its policy restricting a transgender boy from using school facilities aligned with his gender identity, which punishes transgender students for “fail[ing] to conform to the sex-based stereotypes associated with their assigned sex at birth); Grimm v. Gloucester Co. School Board, 302 F.Supp.3d 730 (E.D. VA 2018); C.f., Joel Doe, et al. v. Boyertown Area School District, 897 F.3d 518 (3rd Cir. 2018) (petition for certiorari docketed in Supreme Court at https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/18-658.html) (denying a preliminary injunction that sought to stop the School District from applying its policy to allow students to use bathrooms aligned with their gender identities, noting established severe psychological and other harm when students are denied that ability and that Title IX allows but does not require the provision of separate bathroom facilities; and finding opponents to the policy did not show sufficient harm to find the policy creates a hostile environment on the basis of sexual harassment of them); Compare, R.M.A. by Appleberry v. Blue Springs R-IV Sch. Dist., No. WD 80005, 2017 WL 3026757 (Mo. Ct. App. July 18, 2017), reh'g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 5, 2017), transferred to Mo. S.Ct., No. SC 96683, 2019 WL 925511 (Mo. Feb. 26, 2019) (upholding the dismissal of a case alleging sex discrimination against a transgender male student who was denied access to the boys’ locker room and bathroom “based on my sex and gender identity,” because the student did not allege sex stereotyping and Missouri law does not protect against discrimination on the basis of “gender-related traits” and, in dicta, no Missouri court has extended the Missouri human rights statutes to sex stereotyping).
 Providing safety to those with knowledge, and confidential informal means of exploring whether rumors raise a question that needs review, is an important focus for societies. So is regular communication about how and to whom a person may safely and confidentially provide information about sexual and intersecting bases of harassment, and when total confidentiality can’t be guaranteed (e.g., when safety of the community is threatened or Title IX requires an investigation). Whether Title IX regulations require an investigation may change if changes recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Education are implemented. Under current regulations, however, the need to investigate depends on whether the Society or home institution has actual knowledge, meaning certain representatives of the institution know (e.g., senior officials, supervisors, positions designated to receive complaints)—or whether the institution reasonably should have known, considering all facts and circumstances (e.g., rampant rumors, media reports, persistent red flags) had it made a diligent inquiry. If a society’s or institution’s employee sexually harasses a student while performing responsibilities for students, the society or institution is held responsible for remedying the effects of the harassment, whether or not it had notice. Having an ombuds function (with good training), whether full-time or as an assigned duty of someone whose other duties would not trigger a reporting requirement (so not a senior officer, supervisor, lawyer) can be helpful for maintaining confidentiality.