A scientists' group has rescinded an award given to a turtle researcher after he showed pictures of nearly nude women during a presentation at a conference in New York.
Attendees of the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists said on Twitter that Richard "Dick" Vogt, a longtime Brazilian turtle researcher, showed the racy slides during a talk he gave Thursday after receiving the distinguished herpetologist award.
Some of the slides were so revealing, attendees said, that organizers added blue dots to cover up the women's bodies.
Henry Mushinsky, chair of the conference committee, told the Democrat and Chronicle that it's common for biologists working near water to wear bikinis and bathing suits but that organizers thought some of Vogt's slides "might have been offensive."
"Some of the photos people thought were a little too revealing, so we decided to sort of block them out a bit," Mushinsky said. "The whole idea was to try to minimize anyone feeling uncomfortable."
In response to growing outrage from attendees of the conference, the Herpetologists' League, which gave Vogt the award, rescinded the honor Friday and vowed in a statement to take "concrete steps to assure that all individuals are welcomed, included, and valued."
"HL regrets and apologizes for offensive content presented in the 2018 Distinguished Herpetologist lecture," the statement said.
Vogt did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment. He declined to talk to the Democrat and Chronicle.
The Turtle Conservancy, where Vogt serves on the advisory board, did not immediately respond to a phone call from BuzzFeed News.
Several attendees and others in the herpetologist community said Vogt has exhibited inappropriate behavior at previous events and presented the same slides at other conferences.
Christopher Dick, a professor at the University of Michigan, accused Vogt on Twitter of asking a woman student at a conference years ago if she had ever slept with a herpetologist.
Emily Taylor, a herpetologist from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, told the Democrat and Chronicle that Vogt has been showing risqué slides for 20 years.
"There's a big difference between what he does and just (pictures of) students in normal field garb," Taylor said.
At the same gathering in 2014, Vogt auctioned off his Speedo thong, attendees said on Twitter.
Several people said the incident at this year's conference has been another reminder of the sexism and harassment that women in science have dealt with for years.
Anat Belasen, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, applauded the league's decision to rescind Vogt's award but said more should be done to address sexual harassment in the industry.
"Sexual harassment is an issue of safety and should be treated as one, instead of a gray area," Belasen wrote on Twitter. "Dick Vogt should be banned from all future meetings."