Ask anyone who performs research why they belong to a scientific society, and the answer almost always includes mention of the annual meeting. Participation in scientific meetings is crucial to advancement in a research career. For many people, meetings are also enjoyable opportunities to socialize with colleagues and friends whom they may not see at any other time.  For others, participation in scientific meetings is often stressful, made that way in part by experiences of harassment, bullying, and intimidating behavior.

Open Secrets and Missing Stairs explores how, and how often, sexual and gender-based harassment occurs at meetings, how harassment limits diversity and inclusion efforts, and what meeting producers such as scientific societies can do to identify and stop harassers and harassing behavior. The report includes data from the 2015-16 Survey of Meeting Experiences (SOME). SOME was an internet-based survey, and recruitment of subjects focused on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) professionals.