Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 14:15:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for Friday, October 4, 2002

AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
AASWOMEN Weekly issue of Oct. 4, 2002, 
eds. Meg Urry, Patricia Knezek, & Michael Rupen

This week's issues:

 1. Martha Nussbaum article in Chicago Tribune
 2. Patsy Mink
 3. Title IX Congressional Hearings
 4. BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent)
 5. How to submit to, subscribe to, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
 6. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Gravitational Wave Detection, Syracuse
 7. Tenure-track position in Solar Physics at Rice University
 8. Head of Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at Western Kentucky University

1. Martha Nussbaum article in Chicago Tribune
From: Debra Rolison

[There was] an intriguing article in the Chicago Tribune on
the philosopher Martha Nussbaum.  The article (by Julia Keller in the 29
September 2002 issue of the Trib) is quite long, but if you're so
inclined, do pull it up:  worth reading.
[Note:  The Chicago Tribune's site ( does
require registration to read their stories].

And to all our XY allies out there ... please note Mill's modifying
disclaimer of *most* men...

... not *all* men are discombobulated by women as equals, thank goodness.

In an essay about her Harvard days that will appear in an upcoming
anthology about women in philosophy, Nussbaum writes: "Here we see the real
difficulty of feminism in the academy. It is the difficulty that John
Stuart Mill long ago correctly identified: Most men are simply not prepared
to live with women on a basis of equality. They may think and maintain that
they are, but their human development is paltry and does not sustain such
good intentions as they may have."

-- Debra Rolison

2. Patsy Mink
From: Michael Rupen

Patsy Mink, the Democatric congresswoman from Hawaii, died on Sep. 28, at
age 74.  She had been a member of the House of Representatives for 24 years
(and was the first Asian-American woman in that body), and one of its most
outspoken liberals (hence the nickname, "Patsy Pink").  She was co-author of
the famous Title IX legislation [see below], which bans gender discrimination
in federally funded educational institutions, and which has had such an enormous
impact on women's sports in particular.  There's a brief biography as part
of the National Women's History Project, at

and also in many major newspapers, including the Washington Post:

-- Michael Rupen

3. Title IX Congressional Hearings
From: Michael Rupen

Sen. Ron Wyden, the Democratic Senator from Oregon & chair of the
subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, chaired a Senate hearing on
"Title IX and the Sciences" on October 3rd, the third of a series of hearings
"on the subject of women studying and working in math, technology, engineering 
and the so-called hard sciences such as physics and chemistry" (Wyden, opening
statement).  I could find only one of those other hearings, on 
"Women in Science and Technology", held July 24th.  The text of most of
the presentations at both hearings may be found at

For reference, although Title IX most often comes up in discussions of women's 
sports, the actual statute reads
  No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded
  from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to
  discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal
  financial assistance.

In his opening statement, Sen. Wyden called upon the National Academy of
Sciences to "report on how universities support their math, science and
engineering faculty with respect to Title IX.  This can cover hiring,
promotion, tenure, even allocation of lab space  It's time Congress quantified 
and qualified the realities facing women in the sciences."

Among those testifying at these hearings:
  * Margaret "Digit" Murphy, head coach of women's ice hocky at Brown,
    had some interesting thoughts on why Title IX has been mcuh more
    obviously successful in sport than in other areas.  Among the reasons
    she cites are
    - media interest, leading to critical checking of male/female ratios
      and other statistics, and (more importantly) educating the public in
      their legal rights;
    - the number of lawsuits brought by parents, painful for all concerned,
      but useful in the aggregate.
  * Dr. April Brown, chair of the Dept. of Electical & Computer Engineering
    at Duke, gave some of the usual depressing statistics, and stressed the
    importance of female mentors, and the potential of Title IX in (for
    example) requiring more scientific scholarships for women. 
  * Dr. Kristina Johnson, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke,
    gave a nice & readable summary both of the barriers that currently
    exist, and of some ways to work on eroding those barriers.  To summarize
    her summary, she sees three significant barriers to women in science &
    - poor math & science standards in high school -- "Maybe math is the
      broccoli of high school education.  But we don't let our children get
      by without broccoli just because they don't like it."
    - lack of role models & opportunities to develop confidence & competence
      in the basics needed for a scientific/engineering career.
      Interestingly, she mentions here the perception that engineering is
      a "dry" subject, with little interaction with people; according to
      WECE, "90% of women polled cited altruistic reasons for choosing a
      career in science, engineering or technology", and interprets the
      greater number of women in, say, biomedical engineering, as due to the
      obvious connection between those fields and make social contributions.
    - lack of financial aid & child care for women in grad school.
    Her suggestions include
    - requiring 4 years of math & one year each of biology, chemisty &
      physics in high school;
    - national centers of excellence in engineering related to "quality of
      life", e.g. sustainable resources, biomedicine, and domestic security;
    - more financial aid & child care for women in grad school.
  * Ana Maria Boitel, chair of Women in Technology, who stressed the
    importance of getting girls interested in science & technology _en
    masse_ -- working to get whole groups of girls interested in computers,
    for instance, rather than aiming at individuals.
So, some interesting ideas; it's heartening to know that at least a few
folks in the capitol heard them!

-- Michael Rupen

[Editors' note: see also the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, .  Unfortunately
  one needs a subscription...]
 4. BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent)
From: (prompted by a message in the group
  Friends of CSWP)

BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent) is a public-private
partnership dedicated to building a stronger, more diverse U.S. workforce in
science, engineering and technology by increasing the participation of
under-represented groups.  BEST has brought together the nation's most
respected practitioners, researchers and policymakers to identify what's
working across the country to develop the technical talent of
under-represented groups in pre-K through 12, higher education, and the
workplace.   Publications include  Land of Plenty: Diversity
as America's Competitive Edge in Science, Engineering and Technology,
and The Quiet Crisis: Falling Short in Producing American Scientific and
Technical Talent.

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

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 6. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Gravitational Wave Detection, Syracuse
From WIPHYS posting of 10/03/02:

The Syracuse University Experimental Relativity Group has an
opening for a postdoctoral research associate in the field of
gravitational wave detection. We are closely affiliated with the
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO),
which is in now moving toward full scientific operation. At
Syracuse, we are involved in searches for gravitational wave
signals, gravitational wave detector diagnostic studies, and in
technology for advanced detector designs. Previous  experience in
gravitational wave detection is not required, but skills in low-noise
measurements in mechanical or optical systems would be a plus, as
would be experience in C or C++ programming.

Please send a letter describing your interests, a c.v. and
publication list, and the names and addresses of three references, to
  Prof. Peter R. Saulson
  Department of Physics
  Syracuse University
  201 Physics Bldg.
  Syracuse, NY 13244-1130
or email Syracuse University is an affirmative
action/equal opportunity employer. Members of minority groups
and women are especially encouraged to apply.

 7. Tenure-track position in Solar Physics at Rice University
From: Umbe Cantu

The Physics and Astronomy Department at Rice University expects a new
tenure-track assistant professorship in the area of solar physics. The 
Department seeks a scientist with demonstrated expertise in observations, 
theory, or computer simulations of the plasma dynamics of the Sun and its 
corona. The chosen individual will be expected to teach at the undergraduate 
and graduate levels, to develop a course in solar physics, and to advise 
graduate students in that area. The successful candidate will have the 
opportunity to form collaborations with existing departmental research
programs (, which include magnetospheric physics,
space weather, and the astrophysics of Sun-like stars. A curriculum vitae,
statement of research interests, and four letters of reference should be
addressed to
  Dr. Richard Wolf
  Chair of the Solar-Physics Search Committee
  Department of Physics and Astronomy
  Rice University MS-108
  Houston, TX 77005
To receive full consideration, application materials should reach Rice by
December 15, 2002.  Rice University is an Equal-Opportunity/Affirmative-Action
Employer.  Minority and women candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

 8. Head of Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at Western Kentucky University
From: Richard Gelderman

We invite applications and nominations for a dynamic intellectual
leader to serve as Department Head.  The ideal candidate will be
a visionary, creative leader who will guide continued growth of
our initiatives in teaching, research, and service.  Our faculty
are very dedicated to undergraduate education and to mentoring
undergraduates in scholarly activities. We typically have 50
physics majors, and serve 1000 students/semester from a variety
of disciplines.  Current research activities include: Applied Nuclear
Physics, Astronomy, Biophysics, Physics Education, Surface Physics, and

The applicant must have an earned doctorate in Physics, Astronomy,
or a related field, and a documented record of teaching, research,
and service that merits appointment as an associate or full professor
with tenure.  We seek a candidate with evidence of effective
administrative experience and resource development.  Required
leadership qualities include effective interpersonal and communication
skills that promote a collegial environment and consensus building.
The successful applicant will have a proven record of engagement with
internal and external constituencies, and a commitment to
recruitment/retention of students and faculty development.
The applicant is expected to support and engage in innovative
teaching and scholarly activity involving undergraduate students.

Screening begins December 2, 2002, and continues until the position
is filled.  This is a twelve-month position starting July 1, 2003.
Visit  for application guidelines and
additional information, or contact the search committee chair
at Western Kentucky University is committed
to expanding the diversity within its faculty and administration.