Bullying at ETH Zürich leads to a dismissal

I was wondering why this old post from 2017 (which was my busiest post of the year back then) has been experiencing a resurgence in traffic over the last few days, and I’ve only just found out the reason.

According to this article, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich has taken formal action to dismiss a professor from the former Institute for Astronomy. This follows a scandal about bullying in the Institute of Astronomy, which led to the Institute being closed down. The Professor against whom the allegations of bullying have been made is Marcella Carollo, who is not named in the article I linked to above but is named in this more complete account (in German).

This would be the first time in the history of the ETH that a Professor has actually been dismissed.

It has taken quite a while to get this far with this very sorry case – it would have been far better had the complaints about Prof. Carollo been dealt with sooner, but if there is any good to emerge it will be that ETH puts in place better processes for the supervision of early career researchers generally, and particularly for dealing with allegations of bullying.

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6 Responses to “Bullying at ETH Zürich leads to a dismissal”

  1. While I can see the point in not naming names when discussing unproven accusations (innocent until proven guilty etc), what is the point of not naming names but a) providing enough information to identify the person in question and b) if names have been named elsewhere? (In the latter case, it would still make sense if others behaved inappropriately.)

  2. Your words are spectacularly hollow and hypocritical given your support for Carole Mundell. Mundell abandoned a student (as Carollo is reported to have done), caused a junior member of staff to leave the GRB group and refuse to work with her again (due to “aggressive behaviour”), made a student “fear retaliation” (the student’s own words) if she requested a formal supervisor change, and claimed the disciplinary proceedings against her were due to a conspiracy (like Carollo has done) and fabricated allegations against other members of staff (which were found to be “vexatious” and entirely without merit). When new students arrived, they were being warned by the existing students not to work with Mundell because of her behaviour. So, and I say this will all the respect you deserve, **** off.

  3. telescoper Says:

    Just a reminder that I don’t accept anonymous and/or abusive comments.
    I do however refer defamatory statements, baseless allegations and other forms of harassment to people who can deal with them in appropriate ways along with IP addresses and other identifying information that the sender’s employer (the University of Hawaii) will be interested in.
    I hope this clarifies the situation.

  4. telescoper Says:

    It seems to be necessary to repeat the statement of my comments policy as clearly visible on the front page of this blog:

    The views presented here are personal and not necessarily those of my employer (or anyone else for that matter). Feel free to comment on any of the posts on this blog but comments may be moderated; anonymous comments and any considered by me to be abusive will not be accepted. I do not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with the opinions or statements of any information or other content in the comments on this site and do not in any way guarantee their accuracy or reliability.

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