Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2000 15:32:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 6/7/2000

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of  6/07/2000, ed. by Priscilla Benson
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This week's issues:
1.  Reflections on volunteering!
2.  A Meeting with Women participants!
3.  Notes from WIPHYS
1. Reflections on volunteering!
From: Kris Sellgren

Scientific editorship of the ApJ: a job calling for hard 
work, expertise in many fields, and *no* pay.  Sounds like 
the very definition of women's work.

More seriously: women are less likely to volunteer as ApJ 
editors given that we are called on constantly to volunteer 
our time on committees and as mentors.  Of course every 
university and national committee, every middle school 
searching for Science Day speakers, every science conference 
setting up their invited speaker list is looking for some 
(often token, sometimes real) female representation.  It's 
very telling that at every national committee I go to, the 
median age of the women members is a decade or two younger 
than the male members.  We are asked to serve on important 
and time-consuming committees when we are much less senior 
in our fields.  I find it slightly nerve-wracking to realize  
I am a decade or more behind in political experience yet 
have the same voice on these decision-making committees.  
It's good in many ways to have a diversity of experience -- 
both career stage and gender -- on committees, but I do find 
it odd to have young women astronomers asked to take on 
national leadership roles well before their males peers are 
asked.  Maybe this has just been my experience, so often 
being the youngest on the committee.  Have other women had 
similar experiences?

I realize reading this over that there's some difference 
between committees and conferences.  When I go to a national 
committee meeting, there is often a very fair representation 
(percentage-wise) of women, but at the expense of asking 
very junior women to serve on committees they don't quite 
have the experience for yet.  But when I go to a scientific 
conference, the percentage of women publishing good research 
in the field is always vastly larger than the percentage of 
women asked to give invited talks, at any experience level.  
Is this because people setting up national committees are  
more sensitive to gender issues than your typical scientific  
conference organizer?  Or is national service considered a 
waste of time compared to going to more scientific 

Kris Sellgren

A Meeting with Women participants!
From: Elena Terlevich

I just came back from a Conference in Granada (SPAIN) where, 
from the point of view of female participation, it was a joy 
to be.

Have a look at the conference web site


3. Notes from WIPHYS

Special Session of the General Assembly June 5-9, 2000 at UN 
headquarters in New York, NY.  Delegates from across the 
globe gather to analyze the progress of the Beijing Platform 
for Action adopted at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on 
Women.  More on the AWIS web site at
Rita Colwell, first women director of NSF, talks about girls 
in science, mentoring, and the glass ceiling, at

End of CSWA Newsletter of 6/7/2000