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Code of Conduct

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Stanford University has policies defining "Code of Conduct and Non-Retaliation Policy" ( That document says that "Violations of this code will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination." Here we provide examples of the code as it applies to all activities of Mike Cherry’s lab in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University and all other affiliated teams, contractors and projects. While this code applies explicitly to staff, students and faculty of the University, we require this code of conduct to be honored by everyone and every organization that participates in the Lab, formally or informally. It serves to distill our common understanding of a collaborative, shared environment and goals. We require it to be followed so that it can enrich all of us and the research communities in which we participate.

Statement of Freedom and Tolerance. The Cherry Lab values freedom of expression and independence.  All members are free to act and express themselves in ways of their choosing, as long as this expression is in the spirit of the five below guidelines.

How the code is demonstrated in the activities of the Cherry Lab.

We strive to:

  1. Be welcoming. We are committed to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We respect, value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. Drawing on our differences makes us stronger as individuals, and as a Lab. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  2. Be collaborative. Our work is used by others within the Lab and outside users who contribute to our efforts, and in turn, we depend on the work of others. We are enthusiastic to explain our achievements to others, so that they can build on our work to make it even better. Any measure we take will affect users and colleagues, and we take those consequences into account when making decisions.  We actively seek out and engage with external groups in a transparent way to form meaningful collaborations with a goal of benefiting the scientific community through improvement of one or both of the projects.
  3. Be understanding. We are patient and respectful when dealing with other team members, as well as with people outside the lab. Our strength comes from our diversity, but the different perspectives also frequently give rise to disagreements, both social and technical. We work together to resolve conflict constructively, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathetic fashion. We are aware that the impact of our messages does not always match our intent. We give our colleagues the benefit of the doubt, and appreciate when that is reciprocated. However, we recognize the importance of being notified when our words or actions have a negative impact on others, no matter our intent, so that we can adapt our messaging in order to maintain positive communication and strong relationships. We may all experience some frustration from time to time. We do not allow frustration to turn into a personal attack, and we do not place blame on others. Instead, we focus on helping to resolve the issues and learning from mistakes. A team where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is neither a welcoming environment nor a productive one.
  4. Be inquisitive. Questions are encouraged. Nobody knows everything and asking questions early avoids many problems later. We are responsive and helpful, within the context of our shared goal of developing the Lab Resources, because we know that we can’t truly take advantage of our differences without this knowledge exchange. There are no stupid questions.
  5. Be careful in the words that we choose. We value professionalism in all interactions, and take responsibility for our own speech. We are kind to others. We do not insult or put down others. To be explicit, words and actions that are public (for example, on social media) may still be seen by, or influence, your coworkers.  Please be thoughtful and conscientious in your public life as well as your work life. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior are not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
    • Sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
    • Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
    • Posting (or threatening to post) other people's personally identifying information ("doxing").
    • Sharing private personal content, such as emails or conversations sent privately or non-publicly.
    • Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention.
    • Excessive or unnecessary profanity.
    • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
    • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

This code of conduct should be adhered to by all Lab personnel, as well as our collaborators.  Violations of this code may be referred as a formal complaint to the University for disciplinary action. Problems should be reported to your supervisor, Mike Cherry, or one of the University individuals and offices listed in section 10 of the University's Code of Conduct (policy-1-1-1, section 10b and 10c).  Know that the managers of the Cherry lab appreciate all your feedback, concerns, and complaints.  Details of Stanford’s Non-Retaliatory Policy are linked in the document below (section 10e) (