Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 23:51:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: AASWOMEN for March 9, 2001

	AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    weekly issue of 3/9/2001, ed. by Meg Urry and Patricia Knezek

This week's issues:
1. CSWA special session at Pasadena AAS meeting
2. CSWA planning: what are AAS members' priorities?
3. More dialogue on incorporating diversity in astronomy lectures
4. Request for advice for student entering astronomy

1. CSWA special session at Pasadena AAS meeting

Mark your meeting calendars: the Committee on the Status of Women in 
Astronomy will hold a session on Monday, January 4, from 2:00-3:30. 
The invited speaker is Dr. Debra Rolison, a chemist at the Naval Research 
Laboratory, who will speak about the situation of women in chemistry 
(which parallels that of women in astronomy) and about nascent efforts 
to consider strong remedies for the lack of women faculty at U.S. 
institutions, specifically, the possibility of filing suit under 
Title IX. Her talk is sure to be interesting and provocative, and 
ample time for discussion will be provided. 

2. CSWA planning: what are AAS members' priorities?

In addition to the public CSWA session in Pasadena, the CSWA committee 
will hold an executive session to discuss future plans. Possible
agenda topics include:
     o  prize age limits, 
     o  a possible Women in Astronomy meeting in 2002 (ten years after
	the STScI meeting),
     o	process and timetable for gathering demographic data regularly,
     o	child care at AAS meetings (how big is the demand?),
     o	discussion of recent efforts of the MIT-led University Presidents' 
	group (should we be doing anything to help/participate?),
     o	liaisons with AAS Committees on Employment, Education, and Minorities,
     o	mentoring programs.

However, rather than guess what you all care about most, we'd like to
ask you directly: 

*** What do you think the most important goals of the CSWA should be? ***
*** Is strong action required on the part of the CSWA? ***
*** If so, how can we best focus our efforts? ***
*** Where should we direct available resources? ***

Please think hard about these issues and give us your best advice.
To respond, please send (brief) email to me, Meg Urry ( 
I will circulate comments and new ideas in future issues of AASWOMEN, 
with the idea of coming to consensus via this kind of dialogue. This 
will only work if significant numbers of readers respond, so please 
do hit "reply" and take a few minutes to help us out. Thanks!

3. More dialogue on incorporating diversity in astronomy lectures

From Kris Sellgren
Subject: Re: diversity and astronomy 

The ASP has declined to help put out a more diverse slide set
that includes all categories of underrepresented astronomers,
i.e. African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, gay
male, lesbian, and physically challenged astronomers. Can anyone
suggest another public organization that might be willing to
take on this task as educational outreach, by providing role
models to disadvantaged K-12 students and by making minority 
students in introductory astronomy clases at universities feel 
more included in astronomy?

I also encourage everyone involved with teaching intro astronomy
to order a copy of the ASP "women in astronomy" slide set. It's 
a start on the diversity issue in the classroom, it's directly
relevant to the status of women in astronomy, and perhaps a 
flood of orders will persuade the ASP to change their minds.

Kris Sellgren

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
[Ed. note: reprinted with permission from James White, Exec. Dir. ASP]

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 15:57:40 -0800
From: "James C. White II"
To: Kris Sellgren
Subject: Re: diversity and astronomy

Dear Kris:
    Thank you for your message. I talked with three people here at the
ASP, and while we think your idea is a good one, it is, in the words of
my marketing manager, not a commercially viable one. We are proud of the
women in astronomy slide set, but that is pretty much a labor of love, as
it is not a good seller.
    As we plan future slide sets, particularly those dealing with
astronomers' accomplishments, we will definitely include
representativies of traditionally under- or unrepresented groups. And, I
hope we can ask for your help at that time.

Jay White

James C. White II, Ph.D.
  Executive Director                 
  Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  390 Ashton Avenue                            415.337.1100 (x. 102)
  San Francisco, California 94112              415.337.5205 (facs)

4. Request for advice for student entering astronomy

Dear women in Astronomy,

                         I am a prospective college bound student
beginning september 2002.  I have always found space and the planets very
interesting.  However locating colleges with these majors is very
difficult.  Since you may be already in the field of astronomy I would
greatly appreciate any information you could provide for me.  Do I major
in biology, physics astronomy?  Their is a lot of information out their,
but getting pointed in the right direction is hard and I do not know
anyone in this field or related field.  I understand I will need a strong
natural science background.  I also love pre-med, another science field. 
Can I take courses that will satisfy all of my interests at present time? 

 Thanks for your help and I look forwared to your response..