Early yesterday, LEAF became aware of allegations against Aubrey de Grey, the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, of sexual harassment. The allegations were raised by Laura Deming (Longevity Fund) and Celine Halioua (biotech startup Loyal) – via their accounts on Twitter and personal websites – claiming inappropriate behavior from Aubrey and other unnamed members of the organization.
Aubrey has issued a statement denying the accusations in a post appearing on his Facebook page. SENS Research Foundation has also issued a statement indicating that they have opened an independent investigation upon first hearing of the allegations in late June, and that Aubrey has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.
As a news outlet, we are governed by our Ethics Code, which requires us to empower the public by communicating facts. As such, we shall not speculate or pass judgement on the aspects of this story that are currently inconclusive.
Regardless of the outcome of these unfortunate circumstances, it is important that the field of longevity research be a welcome place for all people, that allegations such as this are treated with seriousness, and that proper accountability is held for proven offenses.
We also note that SENS Research Foundation has been a long-time ally of LEAF in its mission to fight age-related disease and is a sponsor of our upcoming EARD conference. Aubrey de Grey is also currently a member of LEAF’s scientific advisory board. As such, we disclose potential conflict of interest when reporting on this case.