Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 16:39:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 4/7/99

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
     weekly issues of  4/7/99, ed. by Priscilla Benson
***  send email and addresses to  ***

This week's issues:
1.  job openings outside of academia
2.  June Status
3.  female role models
4.  Summary of the APS session on Patching the Pipeline
5. jobs

Editor's Note:  Thanks to Azita Valinia who sent a copy of 
the Globe article about the MIT discrimination suit.  I have 
not included it in this newsletter since it is quite long, 
and will be in the next issue of Status (see below!).
1.  job openings outside of academia
From: Rachel Pildis

Hi folks--

Just in case there are any of you that 1. live or would like 
to live in Chicago, and 2. would consider a job outside of 
academia, I'd like to bring your attention to my employer.  
I work for a company called Business Logic Corporation 
(, where I work on web banking 
and web 401(k)/mutual fund applications.  We have a pressing 
need for developers, and the management here love the idea 
of hiring more astronomers (not to mention more women!).  
You can visit our website or the Monster Board 
( to get details about the jobs--I 
would direct you towards the Internet Application Developer 
position as the one best suited to astronomers--but *please* 
don't be intimidated by the list of qualifications.  Most of 
the people here do NOT have computer science degrees, and 
they were happy to hire me with only the qualifications of 
your average 2-years-past-Ph.D. postdoc.  Willingness to 
learn and comfort with computers are the main things you 
need.  Heck, people get real impressed when you say that you 
know UNIX!

I really enjoy my job: the atmosphere is just a shade more 
formal than academia, the work is challenging, and the 
management really appreciates my contributions (something 
that I found to be rare in academia).  Business folks are 
amazed that astro grad students and postdocs don't see 
themselves as being in demand--they think that we all know 
that technical skills (which we all have in abundance) are 
very highly valued by employers right now.  I encourage you 
to write me if you want to know more about jobs here at 
Business Logic or about how to make the transition into the 
business world.

Rachel Pildis or

2.  June Status
From: (Meg Urry)

The next issue of STATUS is nearly finished and promises to 
be even more interesting than the January issue. Highlights:
     o	The guest column by Claude Canizares discusses on 
the recent MIT report on discrimination against women 
faculty. We also reprint a Boston Globe article about the 
MIT report, which is more detailed than the online version 
of the MIT report.
     o  A report on salary disparities between men and women 
in academia, from the American Association of University 
     O  An update on the status of women in U.S. astronomy.
     O  Sexual harassment: one professor's experiences, 
observances, and thoughts.
     o	Erica Jong's alternative "100 best books" list. 

Be sure to look for the June STATUS, coming soon to your 
mailbox. If you haven't already subscribed, send your postal 
address to (it's free!). It will also be 
available at the Chicago AAS meeting and you can access back 
issues on the Web at . 
Contributions and comments are welcome!

Meg Urry and Lisa Frattare
Space Telescope Science Institute

3.  female role models
From: (Bob Hanisch)

Here is a letter I sent to the editor of a NASA publication, 
and the reply I received from someone else associated with 
the publication. 

Bob Hanisch

Dear Ms. Conlon,

  I was reading the latest issue of "Insights" and could not 
help but wondering if it is true that less than 5% of the 
people working in the area of high performance computing are 
women.  Of the 24 photographs showing people at work, only 
one is an image of a woman.  Actually, 5% is even too high a 
figure given that some photographs have several men 
included.  It seems to me that a publication like 
"Insights", which seems intended to foster interest in 
applications of high performance computing, should also try 
to encourage broad participation.

  I imagine this concern is obvious to you, but perhaps you 
could try taking some extra steps to show the involvement of 
women in this very interesting field.

With best regards,

Bob Hanisch

Ms. Elson has given us permission to print her answer.


Thanks for taking the time to send email with your concerns 
about gender imbalance in the last issue of INSIGHTS. We 
agree with you strongly.

The truth is that there still are many more men than women 
in the field of high performance computing.  Sometimes it is 
difficult to find women associated with the various 

We will consider shifting stories among future issues with 
attention to gender/racial inclusion.

Hopefully someday the ratios will even out. With HPCC 
projects such as Learning Technologies we are trying to 
foster interest in Science and Mathematics at the K-12 

I agree that it is very important to show a range of people 
to encourage broad participation. When I was young I wanted 
to be an architect. When I went to take the 7th grade 
drafting class I was told "girls can't do that." That made 
me assume a whole list of other things that girls probably 
couldn't do.  It was important for me to see "someone like 
me" doing one of those taboo jobs before it became possible 
in my mind.

Again, thanks for bringing up a very valid point.  We look 
forward to your future comments.

Thanks -
Patricia Elson, Project Lead
Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services
High-Performance Computing and Communications Program

4. Summary of the APS session on Patching the Pipeline
From: (Meg Urry)

At the Centennial meeting of the American Physical Society 
in Atlanta last month, a Special Symposium on women in 
science, "Patching the Pipeline:  Issues and Actions," was 
sponsored jointly by the Commmitee on the Status of Women in 
Physics and the APS Division of Astrophysics. There were 
four  talks, 
  I.  Barbara Welther: History of the Harvard Women 
Astronomers, 1890-1940
  II. Meg Urry: The Baltimore Charter and Its Impact 
  III.Laurie McNeil: The APS Dual-Career Survey
  IV. Priscilla Auchincloss: The Climate for Women in 
Physics which I summarize here at the request of Priscilla 
Benson. I've kept it very brief, with difficulty because the 
talks were so interesting, with further references where 

I.  Barbara Welther (CfA): History of the Harvard Women 
Astronomers, 1890-1940

The story of the Harvard "computers" is familiar to many 
astronomers but perhaps less so to physicists. Dr. Welther 
gave a very interesting talk about Pickering's original deal 
with Draper's widow, who eventually funded the spectroscopy 
project (the Draper catalog) for which the Harvard women 
were employed. Pickering first tried to find volunteers, but 
eventually employed, at half the going salary for men, 
Wilhemina Fleming, Antonia Maury, Annie Jump Cannon, 
Henrietta Leavitt, and more (some arrived under Pickering's
successor, Harlow Shapley). Her conclusion was that a career 
in science is what you make of it. 

II. Meg Urry: The Baltimore Charter and Its Impact 

The gist of my own talk will appear in the next issue of 
STATUS (due in early June 1999), along with some really 
interesting and provocative articles, so (small 
advertisement here!) I urge you to subscribe if you haven't 
done so 

III. Laurie McNeil: (Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill & 
Dupont Central R&D) 

Laurie and Marc Sher (William & Mary) carried out a Web-
based survey of dual-career couples in which at least one 
member was a scientist (mainly physicists). The number of 
couples responding (620) was comparable to the number of 
women physicists who are married to scientists (~830). 
Details of the survey can be found on the Web at

McNeil pointed out that this issue is growing in importance, 
with dual career families increasing and jobs sparse. As 
anticipated, the situation is worse for women because they 
are far more likely to be married to a physicist than
vice-versa. Institutions should be concerned because a 
candidate whose partner can't find suitable employment is 
less likely to accept a job offer or more likely to leave 
within a few years of accepting. The physics community 
should be concerned because the dual career situation is a 
barrier to the increasing the number of women in physics. 

Examples were given of the positive and negative things 
institutions do when faced with the dual-career situation. 
(Some of the remarks quoted by job candidates were truly 
egregious, and quite surprising for the modern epoch!
You can check them out in the Web report.) 

Solutions included some of the things discussed previously 
on AASWOMEN, including split/shared positions, spousal 
hiring programs, and stopgap approaches. There were no easy 
answers, but the existence of this study -- real data, 
thorough vetting of the issues -- is a major step forward.

IV. Priscilla Auchincloss (Univ. Rochester) - The Climate 
for Women in Physics

Very appropriately, the Tuesday 3/23/99 New York Times (the 
morning of this session) carried an article about the MIT 
report on bias against female professors -- a perfect 
illustration of the story Auchincloss told. She first
recapped the statistics for physics (similar to astronomy 
though somewhat fewer women): 18% undergrad, 13% Ph.D., 
percentages of women slowly increasing but overall numbers 
decreasing. She then asked whether women are leaving physics 
because of the climate, quoting the Seymour & Hewitt studies 
of undergraduate attrition from science careers. The key 
points are: those who drop out of science are as successful 
(in terms of science grades) as those who stay; they give a 
variety of reasons; of the ex-science majors, women go 
into health/teaching fields in large numbers while men go 
into business.

Unfortunately, I had to leave to catch a plane before Dr. 
Auchincloss finished, so I can't report further. I first met 
her 8 years ago, at a very influential meeting on "The 
Changing Culture of Science" at Berkeley, organized by 
Bernard Sadoulet's group, and she's been working steadily 
for many years to improve the conditions for women in 

As a final general remark, it is interesting that the 
audience, though mostly women, included quite a few men, 
including fairly senior men, and there was a general feeling 
that this was everyone's issue, not just a women's issue.

5. Job Announcements
From: Nancy Laubenthal

World Class Information Science Computing Opportunities

The Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's designated Center of 
Excellence for scientific research, is aggressively seeking 
computer scientists, computational scientists, systems 
engineers and computer engineers with extraordinary 
leadership potential in information science and its
application to Earth and Space Science.

Approximately one dozen permanent positions and/or term 
appointments shall be offered to qualified candidates with 
established exemplary experience and/or strong academic 
records.  Term appointments have a maximum duration of four 
years with full civil service benefits that may lead to a 
permanent civil service position.

Salary will be commensurate with experience and 
qualifications.  This search is targeted to people who have, 
or are about to obtain, a Ph. D or equivalent experience 
and/or Bachelor or Masters degree with significant
accomplishments in an information science related 
discipline.  Information scientists with experience in 
distributed systems/architectures, modeling, collaborative 
systems, data mining, information/knowledge management,
realtime embedded software, software reuse, and information 
security are encouraged to apply.  Applicants with other 
information science experience will also be considered.

Candidates should submit either a Standard Form-171, 
"Application for Federal Employment," Optional Form 612, 
"Optional Application for Federal Employment," or a 
resume/professional vita including a list of refereed
publications; and a statement of research and career 
interests of 300 words or less.  Those who submit resumes 
may be required to provide additional information as 
candidacy progresses.  This is an ongoing solicitation for
applications that will be reviewed May 1, 1999, July 1, 1999 
and October 1, 1999.  Applications should be forwarded to 
the following address:

ATTN: Joseph D. Barksdale
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Information Technology Integration Office, Code 200.8
Greenbelt, MD 20771

For more information concerning this announcement or scope 
of opportunities, visit our web site at:

You may also email us at:

Equal Opportunity Employer.  U.S. Citizenship Required.

Nancy Laubenthal
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 630, B.26, Rm.143A
Greenbelt, MD  20771

301-286-5778 voice
301-286-1771 fax


Dear Colleague,

     Due to unforseen events, I will likely have a postdoc 
position opening up this summer. While this opening is not 
certain, I would like to bring this opportunity to your 
attention so that you can alert potential candidates that 
you might know. I would appreciate it if potential 
candidates for this position would contact me at and apply using the on-line forms
for JILA Postdoctoral positions located at the JILA Website The JILA 
Postdoctoral Research Program is widely advertised. 

     This opportunity is particularly timely as we have 
early access to GTO and GO observations on the Chandra X-ray 
Observatory (previously called AXAF, to be launched in July 
1999), the Far Ultraviolet Spectrograph Explorer (to be
launched in May 1999), the Space Telescope Imaging 
Spectrograph on HST, and the future Cosmic Origin 
Spectrograph to be placed on HST. The person appointed to
this position will have access to these important data sets. 

                   Jeffrey Linsky

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Campus Box 440
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0440

Attention: Dr. Jeffrey L. Linsky

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in 
stellar or interstellar astrophysics beginning in June or 
September 1999. This position in the Cool Stars Research 
Group will be awarded for an initial period of one year, but 
may be renewed upon satisfactory progress for a maximum of 3 
years.  Primary responsibilities will be to plan and analyze 
space-based observations of the chromospheres, coronae, and 
winds of late-type stars using the HST, EUVE, ROSAT, ASCA, 
FUSE, and Chandra satellites and to coordinate radio 
observations. Candidates interested in the local 
interstellar medium and studies of the D/H ratio in 
interstellar gas as also invited to apply.  A major 
opportunity and emphasis in this position will be to plan 
and analyze GTO observations with the STIS, FUSE, and 
Chandra. Applicants should have a strong background in 
several of the following areas: phenomena in the outer 
atmospheres of late-type stars and the Sun; analysis of 
stellar ultraviolet, X-ray, EUV, and radio data; plasma 
spectroscopy; modern techniques for inferring spatial 
structures, magnetic fields, and velocity fields from 
spectral line profile information; and the properties of the 
interstellar medium. Starting salary is approximately 
$34,000 per year. 

This position is part of the JILA Postdoctoral Research 
Associateship Program, which is more fully described in the 
application material. For information and application 
material please contact Dr. Linsky by e-mail at and download the application 
material from the JILA Website  Please 
arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to 
this e-mail address. This position is subject to the renewal 
of NASA grants.  The University of Colorado at Boulder is 
committed to diversity and equality in education and 
End of CSWA Newsletter of 4/7/99