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Biologist Fights Harassment Training

A 64-year-old biologist who's been teaching in the University of California system for 30 years is refusing to undergo sexual harassment training and has been made something of a cause célèbre.

Alexander McPherson, a protein crystallographer at the University of California, Irvine, for the past 11 years, decided to dig his heels in last month and refused to attend a 2-hour indoctrination session mandated by state law.

McPherson's story first got widespread publicity in November. McPherson later said in an editorial that the training was "a disgraceful sham" and that "as far as I can tell from my colleagues, it is worthless, a childish piece of theater."

UC Irvine has responded by writing his funding sources, including NIH, to notify them that McPherson is no longer allowed to supervise people on his grants. According to the latest article, published today in The Scientist, McPherson will be stripped of his teaching assistants come January. McPherson has been posting responses to his plight—most of them supportive.