About the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy
January 2013 (updated) - At the 221st AAS meeting at Long Beach, CA, CSWA sponsored a special session on Monday, January 7, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM entitled, "Family Leave Policies and Childcare for Graduate Students and Postdocs." Speaker list and other details here. The presentation slides are now posted in PDF here.
June 2012 - At the 220th AAS meeting in Anchorage, AK, the CSWA sponsored a Town Hall with presentation, "Introduction to Astronomical Bullying" by Joan Schmelz (slide show, PDF, 1.8 MB)
June 2012 - Members of CSWA and CSMA collaborated on a description of the status of women of color in astronomy and recommendations for improvement, for a National Academies-sponsored conference.
June 2012 - A new segment has been added to our Advice page: Section 9, Suggestions for Serving on a Scientific Organizing Committee. Thanks to Nancy Brickhouse and others for composing it.
January 2012 - The CSWA has composed a response to the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative and transmitted it to the appropriate officials at the granting agencies. The documemt is here (PDF, 135 KB).
January 2012 - Presentation slides from the special session at the 219th AAS meeting, Austin, TX on "Increasing Diversity in Your Department," are now posted here.
November 2011 - A web page on the percentages of tenured women in astronomy research organizations and in physics and astronomy departments has been posted, based on information compiled by current committee chair Joan Schmelz with the assistance of a member of each organization. Frequent updates are planned.
September 2011 - A web page on the history of the CSWA has been posted, based on information compiled by current Chair Joan Schmelz with the assistance of several current and former members. Development of this page continues.
August 2011 - A list of resources on sexual harassment has been added to our resources section. The committee has received several reports of sexual harassment of astronomy students and is distressed to learn that this problem continues.
May 2011 - With the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy, the CSWA co-sponsored a panel discussion at the Spring 2011 AAS meeting in Boston on Tuesday afternoon. This special session was entitled, "Transforming Cultural Norms: Mentoring and Networking Groups for Women and Minorities."
March 2011 - A new section of resources has been added to this web site. In addition to a page of general resources on women in science, separate pages listing articles and other resources on the two body-problem and on work-life balance have been added. Pages on additional topics are planned, and users are invited to send us additional resources on any relevant topic.
February 2011 - PowerPoint presentations from CSWA-sponsored sessions at the January, 2011 Seattle AAS meeting are now available on our Meetings page.
November 2010 - We have compiled a list of recent conferences and workshops giving the percentage of invited speakers at each who are women. Users are invited to submit additional conferences; please see the instructions.
August 2010 - Our Pasadena Recommendations endorsement page is now open for qualified endorsements. Departments that wish to endorse the recommendations but have reservations may now be listed with an asterisk and supply a document describing those reservations. The MIT Department of Physics has made the first qualified endorsement. More information from that department's chair, Edmund Bertschinger, can be found in AASWomen for August 27, 2010.
November 2009 -
The Baltimore Charter and Pasadena Recommendations
The Baltimore Charter
and Pasadena Recommendations are documents produced as a
result of the Women in Astronomy Meetings held in Baltimore in 1992
and Pasadena in 2003.
The first document describes a code of conduct governing gender issues,
particularly aimed at U.S. institutions, while the latter document is a set
of recommendations for institutions hoping to achieve true gender equity. The
links to the individual documents and meetings provide much more information.
Endorse the Pasadena Recommendations
The President of the AAS and the Chairperson of the CSWA have asked that astronomical institutions
formally endorse the Pasadena Recommendations. Your institution can do so by going to the
endorsement page located
and following the instructions contained within.
About the CSWA
The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy was established in 1979 and now consists of eleven members who serve staggered 3-year terms. Our charge is to recommend to the AAS Council practical measures that can be taken to improve the status of women in astronomy and encourage their entry into this field. We have several electronic publications: AASWomen, a weekly newsletter; the Women in Astronomy Blog, and STATUS, a semiannual magazine. We organize special sessions and Town Halls at each AAS meeting, and our members have contributed extensively to the organization of international meetings on the status of women in astronomy.