Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 16:01:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: AASWOMEN for February 28, 2003

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of Feb. 28, 2003, eds. Meg Urry, Patricia Knezek, & Michael

This week's issues:

1. Responses to the suggestion that the wording of job ads has an effect 
   on applications from women
2. Affirmative Action for Men? -- Efforts to find women speakers for
3. Topical Session on Dark Energy at 2003 Nashville AAS Meeting, May 27
4. Science article on STScI's attitude towards women
5. Gender Bias in Tenure Procedures
6. Part-Time College Instructor Seeks Summer Research Grant

1. Responses to the suggestion that the wording of job ads has an effect 
   on applications from women

[Eds. note:  These submissions are in response to the submission by Meghan 
Gray in the AASWOMEN issue of February 21, 2003.]

From: Kathy Mead

Response to posting about wording of job ads.

Here in the US, federal law requires that universities make jobs 
"available" to women. Basically, all this means is that universities must 
not hire through the old boy network, where jobs became available and were 
filled without women (or almost anyone) ever knowing about it.

Advertising a job allows women to know about the job. If women apply for 
jobs, that proves that they knew that there was a job opening, the old boy
network wasn't used (not by itself anyway) and thus the "availability" 
part of the law is satisfied. A university can be "in compliance" with 
certain AA/EOE requirements without ever hiring a woman.  (Note that for 
hiring professors, as opposed to athletic scholarships, the relevant part 
of the Civil Rights Act is not Title IX.)

If the university is discriminating against women, in order for action to 
be taken against the university, someone would have to sue. Compliance 
monitors don't look for discrimination, they look for compliance. In other 
words, they don't count, say, the number of women in a department, or do 
any assessment of the department's or university's attitude toward 
applications from females, they look for whether women apply.  There are 
differences in expectations for public and private universities, but not 
so much at the "compliance" level.

Thus, this language - "women and minorities particularly encouraged to 
apply", for example - doesn't necessarily mean that the department, or the 
search committee, or the dean, is particularly friendly to women, it just 
shows that the human resources department is complying with the federal 

So, when you (women readers) apply for a job, you are helping the department 
and university demonstrate compliance.

From: Anonymous submission #1

  Meghan Gray asked:

> Most are some variation along the
> lines of "Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply"
> does it just come across as a politically
> correct phrase that is required by university administration but that
> carries no real weight?

In a current job search at my university, these words appear in the ad. I 
have discovered that this year, the administration gives extra weight only 
to African-American candidates.


From: Anonymous submission #2

  In response to Meghan Gray's question about "Women and members of
minority groups are encouraged to apply:"

This phrase serves to at least raise the issue, whenever jobs are 
advertised, and that seems useful in itself. My impression has been that 
it's taken fairly seriously, especially by the younger faculty, who in 
hiring students and the like are very aware of the issue, and generally 
quite supportive. I'm not saying the appearance of the phrase in a given ad 
matters a great deal, but it's evidence of a much broader feeling that we 
need to do something about the problem. For instance, my institution has 
been criticized in the past for a lack of women among the upper level 
staff, and those criticisms were raised very directly at the highest 
levels. This filtered down to those advertising individual jobs, and has 
led to a much-increased awareness on the part of the lower-level managers, 
a higher percentage of female applicants, and the hiring of a much greater 
number of women than in the past. Of course we're still far from perfect, 
but there is no question that the phrase in the ads is taken seriously.

2. Affirmative Action for Men? -- Efforts to find women speakers for

[Eds. note: We print here both Vera Rubin's original submission, and most of
Nicholas White and Tim McKay's response to Vera about their efforts to find 
women speakers for the Topical Session on "Observational Probes of Dark 
Energy", at the 2003 Nashville AAS Meeting, May 27.  With regards to the
response of Nicholas White and Tim McKay, we have only printed the relevant
portion of their original proposal for a topical session.  Their call for
submissions is listed as the next item in this issue.]

From: Vera Rubin

It seems unbelievable, but at the AAS 2003 summer meeting in
Nashville, the Topical Session on "Observational Probes of
Dark Energy" has six speakers, all male. I think the AAS should
be more alert, and not permit such sessions to take place under
its auspices.

Vera Rubin

From: Nicholas White


We share your concern about the gender balance in the Topical Session on 
Dark Energy we are organizing at the Nashville AAS meeting. Below is our 
original proposal to the AAS. You can see that in the key areas we 
identified for invited talks (relevant to future high precision measurements 
of dark energy), we were unable to identify any women speakers. It is 
possible we missed somebody, and would be happy to be corrected. But we have 
noticed that few women are playing a leading role in these particular front 
line dark energy topics (this is confirmed by a literature search).

The oral part of the program is only 50% complete and we are actively 
soliciting additional speakers to cover the other promising techniques 
identified in our proposal for contributed talks, where fortunately women 
are actively engaged. Ruth Daly has already responded to this notice and 
expressed an interest in attending to talk about High-Redshift Radio 
Galaxies as a Cosmological Tool - we have responded positively to this. Yun 
Wang and Licia Verde have also agreed to talk. We do hope that other women 
working in this area will step forward to participate in this session.

Also included below is our notice calling for additional talks and posters. 
We would like this circulated as widely as possible. Please share it with 
the AASWomen.

If you have any suggestions as to suitable speakers, or further concerns 
please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tim McKay
Nick White

++++  The relevant portion of the original proposal follows:

"...The oral session will begin with a review of the evidence for the 
existence of dark energy, along with an assessment of its implications for 
theoretical physics. This will be followed by a general comparison of 
available observational signatures, and then targetted reviews of a number 
of leading dark energy probes. Each speaker addressing a proposed dark 
energy measurement will be encouraged to focus on a critical assessment of 
the statistical and systematic limitations expected for their method in the 
coming decade. A list of possible speakers, and of people who will be 
targetted for display presentations, is presented below.

1: Overview of dark energy evidence and its implications for
theoretical physics: Wayne Hu, Mark Kamionkowski, or Mike Turner
2: Comparison of observational signatures of dark energy:
David Weinberg or Max Tegmark
3: Probing dark energy through the SZ effect: John Carlstrom
4: Probing dark energy through the galaxy cluster mass function:
Joe Mohr, Zsolt Haiman, Jim Annis, Richard Mushotzky
5: Probing dark energy through gravitational lensing: Dragan Huterer,
Asantha Cooray, or Richard Ellis
6: Probing dark energy through observations of high-z SNe: Adam
Riess, or Saul Perlmutter

Display presentations:
1: Probing dark energy through the evolution of galaxy clustering:
Alex Szalay, Barbara Ryden
2: Probing dark energy through quasar clustering: Tom Shanks,
T. Matsubara
3: Probing dark energy through galaxy number counts: Mark Davis,
J. Newman
4: Probing dark energy through the Lyman-alpha forest: Lam Hui,
Rupert Croft
5: Probing dark energy with optically selected cluster samples:
Howard Yee, Mike Gladders, Jim Annis, Bob Nichol
6: Probing dark energy with SZ selected cluster samples: Laura Grego,
Jeff Peterson
7: Probing dark energy with x-ray selected cluster samples:
Joe Mohr, someone from Con-X, EXIST
8: Dark energy constraints from SZ angular diameter distance measures:
Matt Birkenshaw, Clem Pryke
9: Probing dark energy with strong gravitational lenses: Chuck Keeton,
Chris Kochanek
10: Probing dark energy with weak lensing tomography: Josh Frieman,
Alexander Refregier, Lam Hui, Wayne Hu
11: Probing dark energy with galaxy ages: J. Lima, R. Jimenez
12: Probing dark energy with CMBR: integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect,
Uros Seljak
13: Probing dark energy with CMBR: lensing, Mark Kamionkowski, Licia
Verde, Wayne Hu
14: Probing dark energy with radio sources: Ruth Daly
15: Ongoing low-z supernova searches: Chris Stubbs, Greg Aldering
16: Ongoing high-z supernova searches: Alex Kim, Brian Schmidt,
M. Giavalisco


3. Topical Session on Dark Energy at 2003 Nashville AAS Meeting, May 27
From: Nicholas White

[Eds. note:  This is the call for submission to the AAS topical session
on "Observational Probes of Dark Energy", referred to in the above item.  
Please note that they indicate interest in women speakers, so contact them 
if you are interested and work in this field!]

The apparent dominance of a `dark energy' component in the cosmic
energy budget is the great cosmological surprise of the last decade.
To resolve this mystery requires both an accurate determination of the
amount of dark energy, and increased sensitivity to time variations in
the dark energy density. A number of cosmological tests are being
proposed to do this and are driving the requirements for future ground
and space based facilities.

We write to encourage you to participate in a Topical Session on
"Observational Probes of Dark Energy" at the May 2003 AAS meeting in
Nashville. This one day topical session, scheduled for Tuesday May 27,
will focus on critical comparison of the statistical and systematic
uncertainties limiting each dark energy probe. A half day invited oral
session will review some of the leading approaches. A coordinated
poster session and selected contributed talks in the second half of
the session will expand on the analysis in the talks and provide a
forum for presentation of more speculative approaches.

Confirmed speakers for the overview session include:

Dark Energy and its Implications for Fundamental Physics
     Sean Carroll (University of Chicago)
Observational Signatures of Dark Energy
     David Weinberg (Ohio State University)
Probing Dark Energy with High Redshift Supernovae
     Saul Perlmutter (Lawrence Berkeley Lab)
Probing Dark Energy with Weak Gravitational Lensing
     Richard Ellis (Caltech)
Probing Dark Energy with the Galaxy Cluster Mass Function
     Joe Mohr (University of Illinois)
Probing Dark Energy with Sunyaev-Zeldovitch Cluster Surveys
     Gil Holder (Institute for Advanced Study)

This session will provide an excellent opportunity for frank
comparison of the various probes of dark energy before a broad
cross-section of the community. If you would like to propose a
contributed talk, or to present a poster, please submit an abstract
specifying this special session through the AAS web page
( Abstracts must be submitted by March 19 at 9:00 PM
Eastern time. We look forward to discussing this exciting topic with
you in Nashville in May.

Tim McKay (University of Michigan)
Nick White (Goddard Space Flight Center)

4. Science article on STScI's attitude towards women
From: Duilia de Mello

I guess you all have seen the article in Science 14/02 vol 299, page 993
on "Institute Faulted on Attitudes Toward Women".  

If not, don't miss it!


5. Gender Bias in Tenure Procedures

> From WIPHYS Feb. 27, 2003

I have been told about a study into gender bias in tenure procedures
in the U.S.A. which consisted in sending the same CV with the same 
publications (in biology) to a number of referees, where half of the CVs 
stated the name of the person to be considered for tenure as Jean K. 
Smith and the other half as John K. Smith and which found important 
differences results in the referee reports depending on the gender of the 
researcher. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a reference for 
this research. If anyone knows more about it, I would greatly appreciate 
receiving that information. Thank you very much in advance.
Petra Rudolf, 
Materials Science Centre, 
University of Groningen, 
Nijenborgh 4, NL-9747 A
G Groningen, The Netherlands, 

> From WIPHYS Feb. 28, 2003

Response to inquiry - Gender Bias in Tenure

In the Fall 2002 issue of the Gazette, Meg Urry discusses two studies 
similar to the one you describe. One found that a mathematics paper was 
rated higher by reviewers when it had the name John T. McKay than when 
it had the name Joan T. Mckay. Another found that women had to be more 
than twice as good as a man to rank equally on the final list for 
research support from the Swedish Medical Research Council. The article 
can be found at

6. Part-Time College Instructor Seeks Summer Research Grant

> From WIPHYS Feb. 26, 2003

I'm looking for any information about summer research grants for part-time 
college instructors. I already have connections with a research group but 
need some sort of stipend to help cover child care costs. I hope to look 
for a full time job in a year or so when my children are old. I know that 
a summer research experience would help. Besides that I'd just like to do 
it! Anyone with ideas can write to me at: 
BTW I've checked out APS and AIP and AAUW. I didn't see
anything appropriate. Let me know if I missed something.
Elizabeth Freeland

> From WIPHYS Feb. 27, 2003

Response to Inquiry - Research Opportunities for Teachers

NSF has Research Opportunity Awards (ROA). Check out or 
From the announcement:
"Research Opportunity Awards (ROAs) enable faculty members at
predominantly undergraduate institutions to pursue research as
visiting scientists with NSF-supported investigators at other
institutions. These are usually funded as supplements to ongoing
NSF research grants. However, they may be covered by
rebudgeting funds already awarded or by inclusion in the original
proposal to NSF by either the host or visiting researcher. A
Research Opportunity Award is intended to increase the visitor's
research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and
teaching at his or her home institution, and to enhance the NSF-
funded research of the host principal investigator (PI). Most
frequently, ROA activities are summer experiences, but partial
support of sabbaticals is sometimes provided. ROAs are made at
the discretion of the program officer whose budget provides the
funding. [...]

Requests for ROAs are submitted to NSF by the host institution.
Faculty members interested in becoming ROA visiting researchers
make their own arrangements with NSF-supported investigators or
with researchers who are in the process of applying to NSF for
research support. Alternatively, the PI of an ongoing NSF research
grant may initiate an ROA collaboration. Potential host researchers
may be identified through the search of award abstracts on the NSF
Web site. T he prospective visiting ROA researcher and the NSF-
supported PI at the host institution should work together to
develop a research plan and budget. The nature of the research
responsibility, the duration of the ROA visit, the nature of the
visitor's appointment, the rate of pay, and other arrangements with
respect to employment, are matters to be negotiated between the
host institution, the PI, the prospective visiting scientist, and his/her
home institution, as the proposal is developed. "

I don't know whether your part-time status would be an issue; I
would hope not. The other question is whether your institution is a
"predominantly undergraduate institution" - that sounds like a
rigorous requirement. But basically you would have to find a host
with a current NSF grant who is willing to submit the supplement
proposal to NSF. Hurry - the end of the fiscal year is approaching
fast!! I hope that helps, 
Anne-Marie Schmoltner