Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 12:27:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 2/23/2000

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of  2/23/2000, ed. by Priscilla Benson
***  send email and addresses to  ***

This week's issues:

1. IBM Research Award
2. Annie Jump Cannon Award and why not AAS Speakers
3. Rate at which Women Get Appointed to Jobs
4. Undergraduate Advising
5. Menstrual Cycle
6. International Conference on Women in Science
7. Jobs

1. IBM Research Award
From: WIPHYS Posting for Feb 18, 2000

IBM Research Internship Award for Undergraduate Women         
This year, IBM is again offering a research internship to 
encourage women students to pursue graduate studies in 
science and engineering.  This includes a $2500 scholarship 
per year and a summer internship at IBM's Almaden Research 
Center in San Jose, CA.  Internship is for 10 weeks during 
the summer, starting and ending dates chosen so as not to 
conflict with the student's school schedule.  Deadline to 
apply is March 1, 2000.  Details and an application form may 
be found at
2. Annie Jump Cannon Award and why not AAS Speakers
From: You-Hua Chu

I am sure every reader of the AASWOMEN Newsletter knows the 
existence of the Annie J. Cannon Award.  It is awarded 
annually to a woman for distinguished contributions to 
astronomy or for similar contributions in related sciences 
which have immediate application to astronomy.

I saw a good correlation between the Cannon Awardees and the 
invited speakers at the AAS meetings in recent years, so I 
assumed that it was a rule that Cannon Awardees gave invited 
talks in the AAS meetings.  I was surprised to find that 
this was not the case.  When I asked why, I was told that 
there were too many prize winners so it was not possible to 
give everyone an invited talk.

I am puzzled.  The AAS meeting cannot find a slot for a 
distinguished young woman astronomer?   I look at the list 
of the Cannon Awardees, and I think every one of them is 
outstanding.   What is the problem here?   Are there 
objections to Cannon Awardees giving invited talks in the 
AAS meeting?

Editor's Note: The Annie Jump Cannon Award is not an AAS 
award. I believe that only winners of AAS awards are 
automatically invited speakers at AAS meetings. 
2. Rate at which Women Get Appointed to Jobs
From: (Amanda Baker)


	I have a question concerning the rate at which women 
get appointed to astronomy jobs. I wonder if anyone can 
point me to research results on the effects upon recruitment 
of (trying to) always have a woman on an appointments panel, 
especially interview panels. Can we _quantify_ the effects? 
Is there a good (scientific!) understanding of what the 
effects are and why? Is there any quantifiable difference at 
different stages of the career level (graduate student 
through to full professor)? I have heard lots of _anecdotal_ 
evidence, some positive, some negative, but what do 
statistics and controlled studies say?

	Many thanks,

	Dr Amanda Baker			

4. Undergraduate Advising
From: Kirsten Larson

I wanted to put my two cents worth as a graduate student in 
physics. I myself am not what you would call a great 
student, and I wish that as an undergraduate I had been 
advised better. I had never been given the option of 
anything BUT graduate school. Now I am in grad school and I 
am starting to develop a fairly bitter attitude towards 
physics and the world of academia. As soon as I get my 
Master's Degree I am bugging out and looking for a job as 
far away from physics as I can get. Sometimes I feel that if 
I had been given more options as an undergraduate for the 
use of my bachelor's degree I wouldn't be so unhappy now. I 
know it sounds a bit cruel, but sometimes an advisor needs 
to be brutally honest, it saves a student from a lot of 
heartbreak in the long run.

**>  Kirsten Larson		<**
**>  UofU Physics Dept.		<**
**>  201 JFB			<**
**>  Salt Lake City, Utah 84112	<**

5.  The menstrual cycle
From: Maren Leyla Cooke

"How the Shaman Stole the Moon" by neurobiologist William H. 
Calvin and found the following: 	
"And even if animals don't watch the moon's phases in any 
obvious way, their bodies often have cycles of activity that 
are about 28-30 days long (the menstrual cycle of women, for 
example), left over from ancient reproductive rhythms that 
synchronized mating or birth with the high tides caused by 
the full moon."
------------------- and -------------------

"a biophysicist speculated that lunar rhythms in women could 
be a photosensitive response with phases now randomized 
because people no longer spend their nights out of doors."

Occam's razor suggests to me to look at nocturnal 
illumination, a much more obvious effect than lunar tides 
(unless perhaps you live right on the coast).  Thus 
Michele's biophysicist strikes closer to my personal theory, 
but I'm not sure of her wording.  "Photosensitive" to me 
implies a physiological response (like phototropism or 
photophobia in plants or animals).  My thought (just my own 
hunch, based on no particular research) is that it might 
have been more behavioral -- whether it was the dark of the 
moon or the bright time which was more conducive to mating 
amongst the palm fronds or savannah grasses.  That brings us 
back to the "easier to catch the (lunatic) criminals  
during the full moon" situation, except in this case it 
would have been "easier to catch a comely cavewoman."

"I recall reading that it has been demonstrated that women's
cycles *do* correlate with something: the cycles of other
women with whom they have close physical contact."
Now that the phases have been randomized, I suspect that the  
physical-contact effect -- e.g., cloistered nuns in phase 
with one another -- could be due to an entirely different 
(and physiological) effect, pheremones floating around or 
some such.  Perhaps in prehistoric times there was also  
some advantage to being in phase, either plain safety-in-
numbers, or by limiting the days during which a nomadic 
tribe might've been pinned down by cramps or taboos, or more 
attractive to predators.

On the hurricane & Tuesday spikes in births:

Here in Miami, every hurricane season we have to deal with
the belief that an approaching hurricane may induce labor in
pregnant women -- a pseudo-scientific reason of "lower
atmospheric pressure" is usually given. Again, this just
isn't true. It's a reaction of people to the announcement
that very pregnant women should go to a hospital in advance
of a hurricane - this is in case it really hits, they're
already where they need to be. It's a transportation issue,
not a scientific one!
------------------- and -------------------
"I recall that there was no spike at the full
moon, but there was a Tuesday spike."

Consider the influence of the medical establishment itself -
- once one is at a hospital, there's a slippery slope toward 
induced birth even if it wouldn't have happened yet 
naturally -- doctors tend to put time limits on the process.  
With drugs, first pitocin to speed up labor and then 
anesthesia to deal with the harsher contractions caused by 
the artificial hormone and then possibly surgery because the 
fetus and/or mother can't handle the buffeting or drugs).  
Caroline's hurricane case speaks for itself, and as for  
Tuesdays, I can imagine a woman putting off a trip to the 
hospital over the weekend when her practitioner is more 
likely to be unavailable.  Rather than going through birth 
with whoever happens to be on call on the weekend, she might 
stick out early labor at home and then go in some time on 
Monday (perhaps leading to more births on Tuesday) in order 
to work with her chosen birth attendant.  Even among the 
group of five midwives I worked with, I had preferences and 
made sure to find out who was on call which days.  (That 
didn't actually work, as my waters broke after the first 21 
hours and then things had to happen faster than I'd hoped.  
Evidently the baby hadn't signed on to my preferences!)  
That said, there was a truly RAGING thunderstorm going on 
outside by the time I gave birth -- but it had no effect as 
far as I could tell on what was happening inside, and was 
not a factor in our transportation timing.

-- Maren Cooke.

From: Beth Hufnagel

To respond to Lynda Williams question about why women
who live together menstruate together, that's been shown to
be due to female pheromones.  That is, they are sychronized
by odors given off by each other's armpits.  This was 
reported by major newservices at the time, last year I 

I also thought the comment that our month-long menstrual
cycle was a relic of high tides to be another piece of 
evidence supporting the theory that humans differentiated 
from other primates due to a water-based environment.  This 
also made us similar to whales and dolphins in our lack of 
hair, under-skin fat layer, communication by sound rather 
than sight, and (most interesting to me!) large brains.

Beth Hufnagel
6. International Conference on Women in Science
WIPHYS Posting for Feb 16, 2000

The Role of Women as an Intellectual Reserve for the 21st 
Century: An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the 
Challenges and Perspectives , St. Petersburg, Russia, June 
30-July 2, 2000. The St. Petersburg Women Association in 
Science (SPWAS) with the cooperation of the St. Petersburg 
Association for Scientists and Scholars (SPASS) and the St. 
Petersburg Research Centre of the Russian Academy of 
Sciences are planning to organize the International 
Conference.  This is intended to provide a forum for women 
scholars, from a number of disciplines from the Humanities 
and Sciences, to voice concerns and articulate views on a 
number of both scientific and non-scientific challenges.   
The conference will consist of several sessions and round 
table discussions, depending on the range and interests of 
the conference participants.  Speakers and participants are 
welcome.  All international conference participants will be 
asked to pay a modest registration fee of $60 US. 
For further details, please send any correspondence to: 
St. Petersburg Association of Women in Science 
199034 St. Petersburg 
University Embankment 5, office 113 , Russia 
Dr. Nelly Didenko,
Deputy Chairperson on the Organization Committee
Co-Chairperson of SPWASS

7. Jobs
From: Wendy Horton

Senior Software Scientist/Engineer

The One Hectare Telescope Project, a joint effort of the 
SETI Institute and the University of California at Berkeley, 
seeks an unusually talented person to start its software 
development effort.  When completed in 2004, this telescope 
will be nearly the size of the VLA and much more flexible.

The successful candidate must be:
*experienced (at least 5 years) in designing, coding, and 
maintaining large program packages in a Unix environment,
*adaptable, productive, and very intelligent,
*able to lead software development in a small-team setting,
* familiar with complex instrumentation projects.

Knowledge of object oriented programming, real-time 
programming, signal processing, and/or radio-astronomy 
arrays would be major pluses. Position will require travel 
between Berkeley, Mountain View, and the Hat Creek 
Observatory in northern California.

Send resume, names of references, and salary history by 2000 
April 15 
to: SETI Institute, 2035 Landings Dr., Mtn. View, CA  94043.  
For further information contact Dr. John Dreher 

From: John Dreher

Postdoctoral Position Radio Astronomy Laboratory 
Berkeley, CA 94720-3411
The Radio Astronomy Laboratory at Berkeley will have a 
position for a radio astronomer to work on the new One 
Hectare Telescope (1hT). This project, a joint venture with 
the SETI Institute, aims to build an array with a collecting 
area comparable to the VLA using 500 or more small parabolic 
antennas. This project is now in its R&D phase. The position 
is intended to be primarily for instrumentation development 
with an opportunity to pursue science as well. 
Opportunities for work on the design and development of the 
1hT include antenna design, fiber optics, signal processing, 
software, and RFI removal techniques. Prototypes, including 
a seven-element Rapid Prototyping Array, are currently being 
The construction of the 1hT will begin in 2003 and be 
completed in 2005. The starting date for this position can 
be as early as this spring, but should not be later than 
September 1 for a period of two years with the possibility 
of a renewal for a third year. 
The successful applicant must have completed the 
requirements for the Ph.D. degree prior to her/his arrival. 
The position includes expenses for publication charges, 
travel support, a workstation and adequate disk space. 
Applicants should send a curriculum vitae, list of 
publications, a statement of research interests, Leo Blitz, 
RAL director at the above address before March 31, 2000 for 
full consideration. 
Three letters of recommendation should be requested by the 
applicant and sent to Berkeley. AAE/EOE.

End of CSWA Newsletter of 2/23/2000