The provost of Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe concluded this week that high-profile astrophysicist and atheist Lawrence Krauss violated the university’s sexual harassment policy by grabbing a woman’s breast at a conference in Australia in late 2016.
“Responsive action is being taken to prevent any further recurrence of similar conduct,” ASU’s executive vice president and provost, Mark Searle, wrote in a 31 July letter to Melanie Thomson, a microbiologist based in Ocean Grove, Australia, who is an outspoken advocate for women in science. Thomson, who witnessed the breast-grabbing incident, received the provost's written judgment, called a "determination" from Searle and shared it with Science. His conclusion concurred with the findings of investigators from ASU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI).
In response to an email asking what specific actions the university is taking, an ASU spokesperson wrote: “Professor Lawrence Krauss is no longer director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project, a research unit at ASU. Krauss remains on administrative leave from the university. It is the policy of the university not to comment on ongoing personnel matters.”