(Washington, DC) House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released a statement in response to a white paper by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) entitled “Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sexual Assault and Stalking Issues Pertaining to the United States Antarctic Program.”
The white paper follows a report issued by NSF in 2022 detailing ongoing problems with harassment, stalking, and sexual assault in the U.S. Antarctic Program, and a subsequent hearing held by the Committee in December. While the NSF OIG continues to conduct a full investigation of the unsafe culture and environment at the Antarctic research facilities, this white paper was issued separately to provide NSF leadership with considerations for how to facilitate effective reporting of and responses to these crimes.
“The Science Committee has been conducting bipartisan oversight of sexual harassment and assault in the U.S. Antarctic Program since 2017. Ensuring a safe and respectful environment for our researchers is a high priority for us,” Lucas and Lofgren said. “This white paper has raised important questions about victim resources and whether the U.S. Antarctic Program’s law enforcement needs are being sufficiently met to ensure the safety of our researchers. This will continue to be an oversight priority for the Committee, and we expect NSF leadership to take action to correct the pervasive culture of harassment in the Antarctic.”