Date: Wed, 04 Oct 2000 12:12:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: CSWA Newsletter of 10/4/2000

            AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issues of 10/04/2000, ed. by Priscilla Benson
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This week's issues:
1. Female Theorists
2. Leave Policies
3. Teaching/Research Postdoc

1. Female Theorists

About the contribution from Penny Sackett regarding 
              Women Theorists

I am from an institute which is heavily theoretical and I of 
course have mainly contact with comparable institutes which 
are biased by theory. At our institute in Berlin, about half 
the scientific stuff is female, half of them are male 
(including all: master students, PhD students, post-docs).  
This indeed seems to be an exception since when I am at 
other institutes I am very often the only woman or we are 
just two of us.

I found it a bit difficult to judge if the women I know in 
my field (stellar atmospheres, solid formation in space) are 
"excellent female theorists" in the sense meant by the "most 
prominent and influential theorists in our field". But what 
I can say safely is that all of them are very hard working 
theorists. Therefore, your statement about missing or even 
almost not existing excellent female theorists might seem a 
bit unprecise. 

> p.s.  When I was still a physicist, the common lore was 
that > there were very few excellent female 
experimentalists, they > supposedly went into theory 
instead! We are educated as physicist at TU Berlin and most 
of us chose to become an astronomer very late. But we indeed 
observe a concentration of female students in astrophysics 
at TU compared to other field of physics (e.g. solid state).

Christiane Helling
TU Berlin, Germany

	Some numbers for Penny Sackett's question about  Women 

	In last year's NSF Extragalactic and Cosmology program 
approximately  24% (32/135) of the submitted proposals in 
FY00 were self designated "theory" or "theory plus 
observation"  and the remainder were classified as 
"observation" or "observation with theoretical 
interpretation." with   31% of  the funded proposals  
classified as "theory" ( 10/32) 
	Of the submitted theory proposals 12.5% (4/32) were by 
	Of the funded theory proposals 10% (1/10) were by 
	This is within the "noise" (should have been 1.25 women 
funded but

	A quick look at this year's recently submitted grant 
proposals (all classes, EXC, SAA, PLN, and GAL) suggests 
that 30% are theory or theory+observation (98/331) and that 
8% of these are from women (8/98).

	These small number statistics are consistent with 
Penny's hypothesis that most theoreticians come from physics 
- where the percentage of women getting advanced degrees is 
somewhere between 7 and 9%.

2. Leave Policies

Leave policies:

Leave policies for birth of a child are more liberal at 
universities than at certain high-tech companies. I know of 
a recent case at a well-known high-tech company (whose stock 
has gone down this year) in which a woman scientist was 
given 6 months maternity leave without pay and then, while 
she was on maternity leave, she was fired. More 
specifically, while she was on maternity leave, management 
did a review of her work for the 6-month interval that 
included the months she was on leave and sent her a letter 
that her job would terminate 45 days after she returned to 
work. At the same time, she received a prize from a journal 
in her field for the best paper of the year. 

When a person is fired without cause, a labor lawyer can 
negotiate with a company for a better severance package on 
the condition that everything be kept confidential. Lawsuits 
take money, emotional energy, and years.
                               - Michele Kaufman
                               Ohio State University

3. Teaching/Research Postdoc

Postdoctoral Position in Cosmology or Radio Astronomy
370 Lancaster Ave.
Haverford, PA 19041

Attention: Bruce Partridge

	A two-year postdoctoral position involving research in 
cosmology and/or radio astronomy combined with carefully 
mentored undergraduate teaching opportunities in an 
excellent liberal arts college. The aim is to enhance both 
the research and teaching capabilities of the postdoc. 
Research and teaching supervision by Steve Boughn and Bruce 
Partridge. Involvement in preparatory work for the ESA 
Planck Surveyor mission is a possibility.  Teaching 
responsibility: one course per year.

	Send c.v. and statements on both research and teaching 
interests, and arrange for two letters to be sent to:  Bruce 
Partridge ( All material should 
arrive before Dec. 22.

	Haverford is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity 
employer, and women and minority group members are urged to 

End of CSWA Newsletter of 10/4/2000