Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 02:10:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for July 13, 2001

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of 07/13/01, eds. Meg Urry & Patricia Knezek

This week's issues:

1. New report: "Balancing the Equation" -- report related to the press 
   conference that was announced as the special issue of 07/15/01
2. Announcing a NASA OSS Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach
3. Publisher of "Sky & Telescope" involved in gender discrimination lawsuit
4. A contribution on two books to read 
5. An interesting article in the Chronicle for Higher Education on Women in
6. New astronomy program for undergrads at Biosphere2/Columbia University
7. Keep opportunities at Los Alamos National Lab in mind
8. Reminder - International Conference on Women in Physics

Eds. note: 
This is the regular (currently bi-weekly) issue of AASWOMEN.  It was delayed
a few days due to the time-critical nature of the announcement that was sent
out on 07/15/01.

1. New report: "Balancing the Equation" -- report related to the press 
   conference that was announced as the special issue of 07/15/01
From: Suzanne Otwell

The National Council for Research on Women has just released a new report, 
"Balancing the Equation: Where are Women and Girls in Science, Engineering and 
Technology?" The report highlights the reasons to advance women in the 
sciences and outlines strategies to attract women and girls and to retain 
them. It reviews many different programs which have been successful in 
increasing women's participation in the classroom, lab, and workplace. 

Further information on the report and how to obtain it is available on the 
NCRW web site at The National Council for 
Research on Women is a working alliance of 95 university-based research 
centers, national policy organizations, and educational coalitions. 

My colleague, Arlene Modeste Knowles, and I were able to attend the press 
conference today at which the report was announced - speakers, who praised 
the report, included Rita Colwell of NSF and Sally Ride the former astronaut, 
as well as Rep.Connie Morella (R-Md), one of the authors of "Land of Plenty", 
a bi-partisan report on women, minorities and people with disabilities in 
science, math, engineering, and technology. 

      Sue Otwell 
      American Physical Society
      Education Programs Administrator

2. Announcing a NASA OSS Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach
From: Victoria Simek

Announcing the first


September 12-14, 2001 

Chicago, Illinois

PARTICIPANTS: members of the NASA space science education and outreach 
community, scientists, educators in formal and informal science, and others 
interested in space science education and outreach. 

Register now online at

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, August 1, 2001

REGISTRATION will be limited to 250 participants, with a significant number 
of places open on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

APPLICATIONS for poster and panel presentations can be submitted on the 
conference website. Applicants will be asked to submit an abstract limited 
to one page that includes a short biography of the lead author. Acceptance 
notifications will be made by the end of July.

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: Tuesday, July 17, 2001, 6 p.m. EDT 

The registration fee of $200 covers:

KEY NOTE SPEAKERS spanning relevant fields

PANELS about science education research, work with formal and informal 
science education, and the contributions that scientists can make to 
education and outreach.


FOOD: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners, including 1 dinner in the 
beautiful Galileo Cafe at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, offering 
the most striking nighttime view of Chicago.

OUTCOMES: a set of proceedings and opportunities to guide the structure and 
focus of future conferences. 

HOST: DePaul University, with the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum 
serving as a local host.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Victoria Simek at 773.325.4790 or Contact information may also be found on the 
Conference web site.

3. Publisher of "Sky & Telescope" involved in gender discrimination lawsuit
From: Patricia Knezek> and Meg Urry

[Ed. note: This item was originally brought to our attention by Laura Kay.
After consulting with AAS officers and others, we concluded this was relevant 
to CSWA because it involves gender-related anti-discrimination laws. Here we
present pointers to information and a petition for those who wish to sign.]

Sky Publishing Corp., the publisher of "Sky & Telescope," has recently
taken legal action in Massachusetts attempting to overturn a law that
provides protections against discrimination based on sexual identity and
gender.  Joshua Bloom, from the Dept. of Astronomy, Caltech 
(, and Saurabh Jha, from Harvard-Smithsonian CfA,
(, have compiled a number of resources online if you 
wish to learn more about this case under the "Online Resources" link at:

They have also set up an on-line petition at:

4. A contribution on two books to read 
From: Joan Schmelz

As part of my preparation for teaching a new Astrophysics course in the 
fall, I recently reread Frank Shu's book, "A Physical Universe." For 
completeness, I finished the last couple chapters on the nature of life, 
and came across the following interesting assignment.

Read: (1) "The Double Helix," by James Watson and (2) "Rosalind Franklin and 
DNA," by Anne Sayre.  Discuss how you would explain or try to resolve the 
conflicting pictures presented by these two points of view.

Since both books were available in paperback from, I bought them 
and finished reading them this weekend. I won't prejudice you with my 
reactions, but just hint that they were strong enough to suggest that everyone 
interested enough to be on the AASWOMEN mailing list should take the time to 
"do the assignment."

Suggestion: Read "The Double Helix" first.

           Joan Schmelz
           University of Memphis

5. An interesting article in the Chronicle for Higher Education on Women in
From: Lisa Frattare

[Eds. note:  This article drew strong reactions from both the AASWOMEN
editors.  We would be interested to hear your reactions!]

The article indicated below is very interesting...

6. New astronomy program for undergrads at Biosphere2/Columbia University
From: Katy Garmany

I'd like to describe a new astronomy program that Columbia University has
started at the Biosphere, north of Tucson, which has special relevance for
female students. Universe Semester is a semester-long program in which
students take up to 16 credits of astronomy classes. There is special
emphasis on observing: we have a 24-in telescope, equipped with CCD and
spectrograph. In addition, the program is guaranteed 4-5 nights on the 1.3 m
at MDM. Classes taught include observational astronomy, an introductory
astronomy class (either solar system or galactic/extragalactic), sophmore
level classes in both stellar astrophysics and galactic astrophysics, an
upper level class in planetary atmospheres and one physics class each

In the 3 semesters of its existence, over 60% of the students have been
female. (This matches the faculty ratio: 2 of the 3 faculty are women.)
I understand that women are more apt to attend semesters abroad or similar 
programs, which may explain the effect. Furthermore, when they get here, 
they are expected to live, work and play together in a close-knit supportive 
environment which women may find more attractive than their normal campus 

Readers of the newsletter may know female student who would benefit from
this special environment. I'd urge you to tell them about us. The web site
is and I'd be happy to answer

   Katy Garmany,
   Director, Astronomy Program
   Columbia University Biosphere 2

7. Keep opportunities at Los Alamos National Lab in mind
From: Dimitri Mihalas

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a DOE funded research and development 
laboratory, high in the beautiful mountains of northern New Mexico, devoted to 
basic science and stewardship of the nation's nuclear stockpile. Although most 
permanent jobs at the Lab are of a programmatic nature, there are good 
opportunities for undergraduate & graduate students for short term visits and 
dissertation support, both financial and technical, and for longer-term visits 
by postdoctoral associates. 

Historically, astrophysicists have proven to be well-qualified for many of the 
research areas of direct interest to a variety of laboratory programs, 
including radiation and neutron transport, fluid dynamics, radiation 
hydrodynamics, and (more recently in the astrophysical curriculum) properties 
of matter at high density and temperature (EOS, opacity, and thermonuclear 
burn). We actively seek qualified women applicants with astrophysical research 
skills because we realize that they represent a great, almost untapped, 
reservoir of talent in the physical sciences. 

Women with a background in the following theoretical areas can likely find a 
place to work at the Lab with a mentor or advisor: radiation transport, 
hydrodynamics (including interactions with radiation), plasma physics, dense 
matter physics, thermonuclear processes, and computational physics in general.
On the observational/instrumental side, there is need for people qualified for 
spectral diagnostics of plasmas over a huge range of temperature and densities,
for image processing and analysis, and in the space sciences.

One can explore job opportunities on the Los Alamos web site at However, it is often helpful to have a direct referral 
to a person "on the inside", who can facilitate finding out more about job 
opportunities and act as an advocate in specific cases. Highly qualified, and 
strongly motivated, women can contact

     Dimitri Mihalas 
     X3, MS-D413 
     Applied Physics Division 
     Los Alamos National Laboratory 
     Los Alamos, NM 87545
for suggestions for a possible connection with such an internal advocate for 

8. Reminder - International Conference on Women in Physics
From: Meg Urry

An International Conference on Women in Physics, sponsored by the 
International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, along with the US National 
Academy of Sciences and similar organizations world-wide, will be held in 
Paris on March 7-9, 2002. The primary purpose of this conference is to 
understand the severe under-representation of women worldwide and to develop 
strategies to increase their participation in physics. The conference will 
serve as an initial focal point for ongoing activities to implement these
strategies. It is the first international conference to be held on this 
topic. For further information, see