Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

The ASA at 75: Response from Asa Officers


What follows is a response to the two earlier posts by A.W. Eaton and Paul C. Taylor. It was originally posted as a comment on the latter.


We have read with great interest, but also considerable dismay, the posts on the AFB blog by Anne Eaton and Paul Taylor about the status of the ASA on its 75th anniversary. As Anne notes, the sexual harassment situation that she mentions was brought to the attention of ASA governance, and we are pleased that it was dealt with immediately by ASA officers. The ASA is trying to become a more diverse society, and we appreciate that both posts acknowledge the organization’s efforts in this direction. The posts draw our attention, however, to how much room for improvement remains. We very much regret that some members’ behavior and remarks at the recent meeting were off-putting and insulting to newcomers, in ways that have been helpfully explained by both commentators. These posts importantly encourage reflection on the many obstacles we must confront if we are to make the society more welcoming and inclusive. We invite suggestions for better ways of achieving this goal.

Kathleen Higgins, President
Cynthia Freeland, Past President
Susan Feagin, Vice-President
Julie Van Camp, Secretary-Treasurer

AFB welcomes any comments below about what the ASA can do going forward.

Image credit: “House of Knowledge” by Jaume Plensa, photo by Adrien Sifre via Flickr


  1. Please note that ASA announced on July 23, 2018 new policies and procedures on harassment, discrimination, and respectful behavior, which are in effect immediately:

  2. Please see the ASA’s new policies on Discrimination, Harassment, and Respectful Behavior, effective July 23, 2018

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