A number of astronomers and physicists submitted a letter to The New York Times regarding an

article titled “Geoffrey Marcy, Astronomer at Berkeley, Apologizes for Behavior” which was published
on The New York Times website October 10. The letter was originally posted on the website of Ohio
State University’s Department of Astronomy.

Dear NY Times Editors,

We are writing to give feedback on a story which appeared in the October 11 edition of the NYTimes,
titled "Geoffrey Marcy, Astronomer at Berkeley, Apologizes for Behavior" by Dennis Overbye.
Appended at the end of this letter is a Letter to the Editor to be considered for publication.
The authors of this letter are all professional astronomers and physicists, from across the world.
Women are dramatically underrepresented in our field and other sciences, in part because of the
sexism and misogyny that this article reinforced.

This article epitomizes the culture that champions the voices of predators and minimizes the
experiences of survivors. Mr. Overbye's piece repeatedly sympathizes with Marcy, portraying him as
a misunderstood, empathetic educator. This viewpoint is captured in the title of the article, and it is
reinforced by quotes from Marcy and his wife that Marcy was "condemned without knowing all of the
facts" and "the punishment Geoff is receiving here in the court of hysterical public opinion is far out of
proportion to what he did". Not only are these statements false (see the next paragraph), but they
employ the damaging tactic of painting female targets and their supporters as overly sensitive
trouble-makers.

And we do know the facts. Berkeley undertook a formal investigation and found Marcy guilty of
repeated harassment over almost a decade. Marcy abused his position of power, betrayed his
responsibilities as an educator, and sexually assaulted students. Despite these truths, Marcy was not
punished.

This article downplays Marcy's criminal behaviors and the profound damage that he has caused to
countless individuals. It overlooks the continued trauma that Marcy inflicts to this day as a Berkeley
professor, and it implicitly condones his predatory acts. In doing so, it discourages women from

speaking out when they have been violated, and it undermines the safety and learning environment
of all students.

Mr. Overbye has a serious conflict of interest in reporting this story as Overbye has a longterm
collegial relationship with Marcy and has championed Marcy's work in previous NY Times articles
(http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/finder-of-new-worlds.html). Overbye's bias is evident
when Overbye refers to this situation as "Dr. Marcy's troubles" and when devoting three paragraphs
at the top of the story on Marcy's wife's opinions of the crimes.

Moreover, Overbye omits several relevant details of the case. Specifically, the investigation found
Marcy violated sexual harassment policies over a decade (2001-2010), a fact never mentioned in this
article. Overbye also failed to capture the gravity of the crimes. For example, one complainant said,
"Marcy placed his hand on her leg, slid his hand up her thigh, and grabbed her crotch”
(http://www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/famous-astronomer-allegedly-sexually-harassedstudents). In another instance, Marcy was observed "giving an undergraduate a back massage, with
his hand underneath her shirt, alone and after hours in the lab." In omitting this information and
focusing on Marcy and his wife's feelings, Overbye fosters sympathy for a sexual predator and
exacerbates the culture which allowed him to prey on unsuspecting students.

Marcy's story deserves national coverage because it demonstrates an extreme yet persistent
problem that occurs on many college campuses and in many fields. For example, Marcy's case
parallels that of MIT physics professor, Walter Lewin. Mr. Overbye mentions the Lewin case, saying
"Two years ago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology... cut ties with Walter Lewin... after finding
that he had sexually harassed at least one student." There are two factual errors in that sentence:
MIT cut ties with Lewin less than one year ago, and the complainant brought evidence that Lewin
harassed at least ten students, not one
(https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/23/complainant-unprecedented-walter-lewin-sexualharassment-case-comes-forward).

We request that you retract this article based on its false information, the clear bias of the author, the
omission of relevant details, and the harm it is doing to your readers. Furthermore, we ask you in the
future to consider that sympathy and support should be given to the survivors, not to the perpetrator.

Additionally, we have authored a brief Letter to the Editor to be considered for publication in the NY
Times summarizing the short-comings of Overbye's article:

Re "Astronomer Apologizes for Behavior", October 11: By emphasizing Geoff Marcy's apology and
his wife's opinions, this article champions the voice of a sexual predator and minimizes the continued
trauma of his targets. Overbye's piece repeatedly sympathizes with Marcy, portraying him as a
misunderstood, empathetic educator who was "condemned without knowing the facts" and given
punishment "in the court of hysterical public opinion". Furthermore, given Overbye's long history of
sourcing Marcy, the piece lacks the objectivity it deserves.

We do know the facts of this case. Berkeley undertook a formal investigation and found Marcy guilty
of repeated harassment and sexual assault of students spanning almost a decade. Marcy abused
his position of power, betrayed his responsibilities as an educator, and caused profound damage with
his criminal acts. By overlooking the gravity of Marcy's predatory behavior, this article discourages
women from speaking out and undermines the safety of students.

This story deserves national coverage because it demonstrates an extreme yet persistent problem
on college campuses. However, sympathy and support should be given to the survivors, not the
perpetrator.

Thank you,

268 astronomers and physicists:
Prof. Laura Lopez, The Ohio State University
Dr. Alicia Aarnio, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Prof. Tom Abel, Stanford University
Dr. Asad Aboobaker, JPL/Caltech
Dr. Katey Alatalo, Carnegie Observatories

Prof. Katelyn Allers, Bucknell University
Dr. Patrick Allison, The Ohio State University
Dr. Katie Auchettl, The Ohio State University
Oindree Banerjee, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Jennifer Barnes, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
Dr. Joseph Barranco, San Francisco State University
Daniel Barringer, PhD candidate, Penn State University
Prof. John Beacom, The Ohio State University
Aida Behmard, Post-Bac Student, Princeton University
Dr. Eric Bellm, California Institute of Technology
Casey Berger, Graduate Student, UNC Chapel Hill
Dr. Zach Berta-Thompson, MIT Kavli Institute
Dr. Jonathan Bird, Vanderbilt University
Prof. Elizabeth Blanton, Boston University
Dr. Laura Blecha, University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Slavko Bogdanov, Columbia University
Sudeshna Boro Saikia, PhD Student, University of Goettingen
Allison Bostrom, PhD Student, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Dr. Mia Bovill, Space Telescope Science Institute
Dr. Brendan Bowler, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Jessica Brinson, The Ohio State University
Dr. Esra Bulbul, MIT

Prof. Adam J. Burgasser, UC San Diego
Dr. Blakesley Burkhart, Harvard University
Nicole E. Cabrera Salazar, PhD candidate, Georgia State University
Dr. Simon W. Campbell, Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik
Chris Cappiello, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. John Joseph M. Carrasco, Institute for Advanced Studies/CEA-Saclay
Prof. Caitlin Casey, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Daniel Castro, MIT
Hope How-Huan Chen, Graduate Student, Harvard University
Prof. Ryan Chornock, Ohio University
Prof. Sarah Church, Stanford University
Dr. Jessie Christiansen, California Institute of Technology
Brian Clark, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Kim Coble, Chicago State University
Dr. Michelle Collins, University of Surrey
Dr. Jennifer L. Connelly, Rochester Institute of Technology
Monica K. Cook, Graduate Student, Georgia State University
Dr. Lia Corrales, MIT Kavli Institute
Prof. Nicolas Cowan, McGill University
Prof. Steven Cranmer, University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. Kevin Croxall, The Ohio State University
Dr. Kat Deck, California Institute of Technology

Prof. Wouter Deconinck, College of William & Mary
Prof. Kisha Delain, University of St. Thomas
Aleya Dhanji, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. Aleks Diamond-Stanic, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Joshua S. Dillon, UC Berkeley
Rachel Domagalski, Junior Specialist, UC Berkeley
Dr. Michael Dunham, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Prof. Cova Dvorkin, Harvard University
Dr. Peter Edmonds, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Prof. Richard Easther, University of Auckland
Dr. Steven Ehlert, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Xiao Fang, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Matthew Feickert, Graduate Student, Southern Methodist University
Dr. Carl Ferkinhoff, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Dr. Ximena Fernández, Rutgers University
Prof. Helene Flohic, University of the Pacific
Prof. Ryan Foley, UIUC
Prof. Scott Franklin, Rochester Institute of Technology
Prof. Anna Frebel, MIT
Prof. Linda French, Illinois Wesleyan University
Jenna Freudenburg, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Peter M. Frinchaboy, Texas Christian University

Dr. Jim Fuller, California Institute of Technology
Prof. Bryan Gaensler, University of Toronto
Molly Gallagher, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Grady A. Gambrel, PhD Candidate, The Ohio State University
Dr. Pamela L. Gay, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Diego Godoy Rivera, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. Nathan Goldbaum, UIUC
Prof. Valentino Gonzalez, Universidad de Chile
Dr. Natalie Gosnell, University of Texas at Austin
Prof. Andy Gould, The Ohio State University
Dr. Catherine E. Grant, MIT
Dr. Kate Grier, Penn State University
Prof. Nicole Gugliucci, Saint Anselm College
Dr. James Guillochon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Dr. Mark Gurwell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Alex Hagen, PhD candidate, Penn State University
Lea Hagen, PhD candidate, Penn State University
Prof. Daryl Haggard, McGill University
Dr. Duane Hamacker, University of New South Wales
Dr. Amanda Heiderman, University of Virginia
Dr. Calen B. Henderson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech
Prof. Christopher Hirata, The Ohio State University

Dr. Renée Hložek, Princeton University
Prof. Shirley Ho, Carnegie Mellon University
Prof. Jennifer L. Hoffman, University of Denver
John Hoffman, Graduate Student, Princeton University
Dr. Bradford Holden, UCO/Lick Observatory
Prof. Tabetha Hole, Norwich University
Tyler Holland-Ashford, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Daniel Holz, University of Chicago
Prof. Carol Hood, California State University, San Bernadino
Prof. Klaus Honscheid, The Ohio State University
Prof. Sarah Horst, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Eric Huff, The Ohio State University
Dr. Daniela Huppenkothen, NYU
Dr. Seth Jacobson, Observatior de la Côte d'Azur
Prof. Hannah Jang-Condell, University of Wyoming
Prof. Regina Jorgenson, Willamette University
Prof. Donghui Jeong, Penn State University
Prof. Jennifer Johnson, The Ohio State University
Dr. Noé Kains, Space Telescope Science Institute
Dr. Atish Kamble, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Prof. Sheila Kannappan, UNC Chapel Hill
Prof. Jeyhan Kartaltepe, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Sarah Kendrew, University of Oxford
Dr. Bulent Kiziltan, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Prof. Monika Kress, San Jose State University
Dr. Andrea Kunder, Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)
Kara Kundert, Undergraduate Student, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Prof. Cornelia C. Lang, University of Iowa
Dr. Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway, Monash University
Dr. Duane Lee, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory
Prof. Adam Leroy, The Ohio State University
Prof. Yuexing Cindy Li, Penn State University
Shirley Li, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Joshua Yao-Yu Lin, Graduate Student, National Taiwan University
Dr. Adrian Liu, UC Berkeley
Dr. Rachael Livermore, University of Texas at Austin
Cassi Lochhaas, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Adrian Lucy, PhD candidate, Columbia University
Prof. Wladimir Lyra, California State University, Northridge
Dr. Katherine J. Mack, University of Melbourne
Morgan MacLeod, PhD candidate, UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Ann-Marie Madigan, UC Berkeley
Prof. Sangeeta Malhotra, Arizona State University
Prof. Massimo Marengo, Iowa State University

Prof. Sera Markoff, University of Amsterdam
Prof. David J. E. Marsh, King's College London/Royal Astronomical Society
Megan Marshall, Graduate Student, University of Maryland
Daniel Martens, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Paul Martini, The Ohio State University
Christopher Marvin, PhD Student, Institut für Astrophysik Goettingen
Marissa McCauley, Penn State University
Dr. Nicholas McConnell, NRC Herzberg
Prof. Elizabeth J. McGrath, Colby College
Dr. Rosalie McGurk, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Prof. Timothy McKay, University of Michigan
Prof. Maura McLaughlin, West Virginia University
Prof. Robert McNees, Loyola University Chicago
Prof. Sean McWilliams, West Virginia University
Prof. M. Virginia McSwain, Lehigh University
Dr. Anne Medling, Australia National University
Dr. Scott Medling, Australia National University
Dr. Peter Melchior, The Ohio State University
Dr. Stefano Meschiari, University of Texas at Austin
Prof. Brendan Miller, College of St. Scholastica
Dr. Eric D. Miller, MIT Kavli Institute
Jonah Miller, Graduate Student, Perimeter Institute

Dr. Elisabeth A. C. Mills, U of Arizona Steward Observatory/National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Blythe Moreland, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Jorge Moreno, Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Brian Morsony, University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Gabriela Montes, UC Santa Cruz
Prof. Miguel Mostafa, Penn State University
Dr. Daniel Mortlock, Imperial College London
Dr. Tony Mroczkowski, Naval Research Laboratory
Sara Mueller, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Philip S. Muirhead, Boston University
Dr. Demitri Muna, The Ohio State University
Dr. Nicholas A. Murphy, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Prof. Ruth Murray-Clay, UC Santa Barbara
Dr. Jill Naiman, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Kenny Ng, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. Joey Neilsen, MIT
Dr. Clara Nellist, Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire

Kathryn Nicolich, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. Kai Noeske, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Gulden Othman, Graduate Student, UNC Chapel Hill
Zach Pace, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Vaishali Parkash, PhD Student, Monash University

Dr. Laura Parker, McMaster University
Dr. David Parkinson, University of Queensland
Dr. Rachel Paterno-Mahler, University of Michigan
Dr. Molly S. Peeples, Space Telescope Science Institute
Prof. Hiranya Peiris, University College London
Jamon Pennicott, PhD Candidate, Monash University
Dr. Matthew Penny, The Ohio State University
Dr. Sebastian Perez, Universidad de Chile
Ashley Perko, PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Prof. Eric Perlman, Florida Institute of Technology
Prof. Annika Peter, The Ohio State University
Prof. Sara Petty, Virgnia Tech
Dr. Jonathan Pober, Brown University
Dr. Radoslaw Poleski, The Ohio State University
Prof. Matthew Povich, Cal Poly Pomona
Diana Powell, Graduate Student, UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, MIT
Alexandra Rahlin, Graduate Student, Princeton University
Matthias Raives, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, UC Santa Cruz
Prof. Lynne Raschke, College of St. Scholastica
Meredith L. Rawls, PhD Candidate, New Mexico State University

Prof. Emily Rice, CUNY College of Staten Island
Thomas Sean Rice, PhD student, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Dr. Thomas Robitaille, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Dr. David Rosario, Durham University
Dr. Henry G. Roe, Lowell Observatory
Anna Rosen, PhD candidate, UC Santa Cruz
Prof. Gregory Rudnick, University of Kansas
Andres Salcedo, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Paolo Salucci, SISSA
Prof. Karin Sandstrom, UC San Diego
Dr. Katharine Schlesinger, Australia National University
Dr. Wayne Schlingman, The Ohio State University
Dr. Sarah Schmidt, Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam
Josiah Schwab, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
Dr. Victoria Scowcroft, Carnegie Observatories
Jesse Shanahan, Graduate Student, Wesleyan University
Prof. Jessie Shelton, UIUC
Dr. Ken Shen, UC Berkeley
Gregory Simonian, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Caroline Simpson, Florida International University (and past member of AAS CSWA)
Melinda Soares-Furtado, graduate student, Princeton University
Prof. Angela Speck, University of Missouri

Alessondra Springmann, Graduate Student, University of Arizona
Prof. Krzysztof Stanek, The Ohio State University
Prof. Sumner Starrfield, Arizona State University
Dr. Leo C. Stein, California Institute of Technology
Abigail Stevens, PhD candidate, University of Amsterdam
Daniel Stevens, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Michael Strauss, Princeton University
Dr. Linda Strubbe, University of British Columbia
Kasandara Sullivan, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Ai-Lei Sun, PhD candidate, Princeton University
Noah Talisa, PhD Candidate, The Ohio State University
Dr. Joshua Tan, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Dr. Angelle Tanner, Mississippi State University
Jamie Tayar, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Dr. Richelle Teeling-Smith, Marion Technical College
Dr. Tea Temim, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Shriharsh Tendulkar, McGill University
Dr. Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institute for Science
Lindsey Thaler, The Ohio State University
Prof. Todd Thompson, The Ohio State University
Anita Titmarsh, Graduate Student, University of Tasmania
Prof. Lauren Tompkins, Stanford University

Prof. Scott Trager, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen
Dr. Ryan Trainor, UC Berkeley
Dr. David Tsang, University of Maryland College Park
Prof. Niescja Turner, Trinity University
Dr. Sarah Tuttle, University of Texas at Austin
Prof. Alexander J. van der Horst, George Washington University
Dr. R. Mark Wagner, The Ohio State University
Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, Adler Planetarium
Dr. Laura Watkins, Space Telescope Science Institute
Prof. Anna Watts, University of Amsterdam
Prof. Risa Wechsler, Stanford University
Ben Wibking, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
Prof. Ralph Wijers, University of Amsterdam
Dr. Peter K. G. Williams, Harvard University
Dr. Angie Wolfgang, Penn State University
Dr. Jennifer Yee, Harvard University
Prof. Elizabeth J. Young, Rhodes College
Dr. Gail Zasowski, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Seth Zenz, Imperial College London
Dr. Zhaohuan Zhu, Princeton University
Dr. Claire Zukowski, Columbia University