Bullying is a phenomenon that most of us are familiar with, whether through personal experience or through the stories of friends and colleagues. But what exactly is the impact of bullying on an individual and, in turn, on their community or field of work? In the context of medical science, the consequences can be particularly dire.


In the latest episode of Parallax, Dr Ankur Kalra's guests are Dr Susanne Täuber and Dr Morteza Mahmoudi. Dr Täuber, an expert in organisational behaviour, was recently terminated for speaking out against discrimination at her institution. Dr Mahmoudi is a radiologist at Michigan State University and co-founder of @AcademicParity movement.


Dr Mahmoudi and Dr Täuber teamed up to explore bullying in academic settings. Together with Dr Kalra they discuss why bullies thrive in such environments and the ways institutions enable such behaviour. Dr Täuber offers solutions and a critical overview of institutional narratives, while Dr Mahmoudi highlights the long-term effects on academic work and medicine. They call for action against toxic behaviour and for stakeholders to eliminate incentives for universities to support perpetrators.


What prompted Dr Mahmoudi to write about academic bullying? How do we disrupt toxic behaviours? What is Dr Täuber’s and Dr Mahmoud’s message to individuals who have been targeted by perpetrators?


Reinstate Susanne Täuber, protect social safety and academic freedom at the RUG (openletter.earth)


Fundraiser for Susanne Täuber by Stichting Inclusive Action North SIAN Groningen : Crowdfunding Campaign to Support Susanne Täuber (gofundme.com)



Täuber S & Mahmoudi M. Disrupting targets’ dependency on bullies. Science 2022.

Mahmoudi M. Academic bullying slows the evolution of science. Nat Rev Mater 2023.

Mahmoudi M. Academic bullying: How to be an ally. Science 2021.

Mahmoudi M. A survivor’s guide to academic bullying. Nat Hum Behave 2020.

Episode Number



41m 31s