Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 17:27:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: AASWOMEN for December 21, 2001  - HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!

	AAS Committee on the Status of Women
    Weekly issue of 12/21/2001, ed. by Meg Urry and Patricia Knezek

This week's issues:

1. Report on the Status of Women Meeting at the DPS in New Orleans, LA 
   Nov. 30, 2001
2. Response to inquiry about women in IR astronomy
3. Interesting articles on women 
4. IUPAP delegation announced
5. How to submit to, subscribe to, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

1. Report on the Status of Women Meeting at the DPS in New Orleans, LA 
   Nov. 30, 2001

Submitted Dec. 14, 2001 by Amy Simon-Miller and Beatrice Mueller:

Attending: Beatrice Mueller, Amy Simon-Miller, Amy Lovell, Rachel Mastrapa,
Laura Woodney

B. Mueller reported on the last Executive Committee meeting at the June AAS.
Discussion followed about what the goals of the CSWA should be and how it can
help DPS women, in particular. It was noted that percentage of women in the
DPS, and astronomy as a whole, has not gone up in recent years. There is
still a retention problem, as well.

Other items of interest were:

 (1) Mentoring - all felt this was an important and useful way to help keep
     younger women in the field.

 (2) Child Care at meetings. This was a particularly hot topic. The DPS
     LOC's have not been helpful in finding or providing convenient child care. 
     The causes are many, but include: 
	(a) organizing committee members are not always local to the area 
	- New Orleans was a prime example
	(b) lack of interest from the DPS membership
	- this is partially due to no advertisement; members must individually
	approach the LOC members to find arrangements
     We suggest following the precedent of the AAS, which plans to have three trial
     child care arrangements at future meetings. If successful, we think the DPS
     should follow suit. It was also recommended that it be made clear to the LOC
     that child care should be included in the planning logistics. This is also an
     issue in some workplaces. A list of model universities/labs would be nice,
     especially when suggestion how an institution can set up a plan themselves.
     We can poll for additions to the list.
 (3) Updating the CSWA webpage and including FAQs. Everyone liked this idea
     and recommended splitting the subjects by age/level (i.e., undergraduates,
     graduate students, postdocs, etc), where possible. A community survey of
     topics and solutions would be helpful. In some cases, the FAQs page would
     eliminate the need for mentorship, which would help to avoid spreading 
     mentors too thin.

 (4) Next Women in Astronomy Meeting - 10 years after Baltimore. Everyone
     approved of this (and some were shocked to realize it had been 10 years!).

In the future we would like to have bigger participation from the DPS.
We plan to advertise our workshop better before the next meeting, as many
people forgot or could not find it.

2. Response to inquiry about women in IR astronomy

Sara Beck responds to inquiry (see AASWOMEN 12/7/01) 
from Ryan Korniloff, LAN Administrator, Military Advisory and Assistance 
Group, US Embassy Lima, Peru (301-985-9304 X 2687), about the women 
pioneers in infrared astronomy:

As far as I know the founding mothers of the IR were Judith Pipher, now at
Rochester, and Marcia Lebofsky who is now Marcia Reike and who has always
been at Arizona. They were working in the early 1970s. In the second
half of the 1970s I (Sara Beck, now at University of Tel Aviv),Harriet
Dinerstein, now at U. Texas, Susan Kleinman who is now at UMass, all
started publishing, we are all about the same vintage. Barbara Jones,
now at UC San Diego, may actually be older than we are but she started in
England so I don't know her details so well. May I ask what this is all in
aid of? 

3. Interesting articles on women 

From Debra Rolison

You may find two recent articles and one recent National Academy Press
publication to be of interest.

The first article, from Opto & Laser Europe, discusses some of the career
successes/hurdles of Ursula Keller, who was the first-ever tenured female
professor in a technical subject at ETH-Zurich. The opening sentence
certainly resonated: "Someone once told Ursula Keller that she is a scary
woman. If you think that strong, intelligent, ambitious women are scary,
then yes, Keller is a scary woman."

The second article appeared in Sunday's Washington Post: The Birth of the
Myth That Men Are Closer to God--Robert S. McElvaine, Page B03. A rather
provocative walk through the history of why XX is deemed inferior to XY in
religion's eye, which all too often translates into inferior to society's eye.

Finally, "From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of
Doctoral Scientists and Engineers" (National Academy Press, 2001, 340
pp). The publicity blurb states: Gender Differences Persist in Science
Careers: Women's participation in science and engineering has grown
impressively during the past 25 years, but they still are more likely than
men to hold jobs with lower status and pay. A new National Academies
report documents progress and differences in career outcomes for female
scientists and engineers.

It can be read on-line, free, at:

Alas, still not much good news (according to a swift perusal of the
executive summary and the conclusions chapter), but it does help to have
incontrovertible numbers and the (dawning of the) recognition that sheer
"critical mass" of women in S&E&T professions does not magically solve the
barriers women face to advance and prosper in their careers.


4. IUPAP delegation announced

In March 2002, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics 
(IUPAP) will hold its first International Conference on Women in 
Physics, Paris, March 7-9, 2002. The conference seeks to understand 
the severe under-representation of women in physics worldwide and 
to develop strategies to increase their participation. The CSWP 
(APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics) was asked to put 
together a delegation to the meeting, a difficult assignment since 
they received applications from many more highly-qualified women 
(and men) physicists than could be accommodated by limited funding. 

The seven "early career" team members are: Kristine Lang (UC Berkeley), 
Dongqi Li (Argonne), Peter Saeta (Harvey Mudd), Jennifer Sokoloski 
(CfA), Sharon Stephenson (Gettysburg), Aparna Venkatesan (U Colorado), 
and Yevgeniya Zastavker (Wellesley). Other members of the team are 
Meg Urry, Chair (Yale), Kimberly Budil (LLNL), Howard Georgi (Harvard), 
Laurie McNeil (U North Carolina), and Sheila Tobias.

These delegates represent a diversity of backgrounds and expertise and 
were selected on the basis of their passion for physics and their firm 
commitment to following up on recommendations/ideas that emerge from 
the conference. The intention is that this delegation will use the 
IUPAP meeting as a platform for re-introducing a national dialogue 
about the situation of women in physics in the US. Further information 
on the conference may be found at 

5. How to submit to, subscribe to, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

To submit to AASWOMEN:
   send email to
   All material sent to that address will be posted unless
	you tell us otherwise (including your email address).

To subscribe to AASWOMEN:
   send email to, with message in the BODY
	subscribe aaswlist yourusernameyouraddress

To unsubscribe to AASWOMEN:
   send email to, with message in the BODY
	unsubscribe aaswlist yourusernameyouraddress