Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 19:16:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for July 18 & 25, 2003

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issues of July 18 & 25 2003
eds. Patricia Knezek & Michael Rupen

This week's issues:
1. Conference on Women In Astronomy II
   a. Highlights - Diversity Breeds Excellence
   b. Items from the Conference 
2. The situation for women in medicine
3. Computer program detects author gender
4. Campus Equity Week
5. Comment on the AAAS project in Latin America for women scientists
6. Tenure-track position in Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University
7. Faculty Position, Experimental Space-Based Astronomy
8. Jansky Fellowships 2004
9. Postdoctoral position - X-ray Astronomy

1. Conference on Women In Astronomy II

   a. Highlights - Diversity Breeds Excellence
   From: Meg Urry & Patricia Knezek

[Eds. note:  The following contains some highlights from the summary of 
the WIA II conference written by Meg Urry.  The full summary will appear in 
the upcoming issue of the AAS Newsletter.  Look for it!]

[The Women in Astronomy II Conference provided a] star-studded lineup of
leading experts on gender equality in science, and discussed the steps needed 
to make progress.  Sessions on under-represented minorities in science and on 
potential legal remedies rounded out the program.  A key theme was that 
diversity is essential if we are to achieve the highest level of excellence 
in our profession.

[Major questions that were asked at this meeting included] how do we get what
we want?  How can students succeed in graduate school, then choose the best 
postdoctoral positions and entry-level jobs?  How can mid-level astronomers 
acquire the information and expertise needed to advance to leadership 
positions?  How can institutional leaders transform their institutions?

[Some important things to note:]  

- The numbers and visibility of women in astronomy are increasing, though 
apparently not at a rate commensurate with the availability of women in the 
talent pool.  The Pasadena meeting made clear the critical need for 
high-quality data [tracking the career paths of astronomers].

- Instances of overt discrimination are rare; instead, a much more subtle 
obstacle known as gender schemas makes a man's success easier than a woman's.
Gender bias is alive and well in our society, even if it is largely 
unconscious. Women are undervalued, men are overvalued.

- More than half of the astronomers in the youngest cohort in the American
Astronomical Society --- those in the age bracket from 18 to 23, and thus 
mostly undergraduates and beginning graduate students --- are women.

- Mentoring is absolutely essential.  Women need multiple mentors, at 
multiple levels, within and outside astronomy.  [It is critical to note that] 
mentoring is not "telling someone what to do" or "giving them science 
projects"!  [It is a combination of providing information and career support.]

- There should be room in our profession --- and respect --- for innovative, 
flexible careers, outside of the traditional academic structure. 

- The career paths for many young minorities are quite different from those 
of young women, and involve from undergraduate community colleges, HBCUs 
(Historically Black Colleges and Universities), HSIs (Hispanic Serving 
Institutions), and TCUs (Tribal Colleges and Universities).  We need to
develop strong links to those institutions.

- All the talks will be published in a proceedings, to be made available 
online as well.

   b. Items from the Conference 
   From: Luisa Rebull

(1) When writing stuff up and when considering information on climate and 
tracking (for the AAS and for the renegade website and anything else), don't 
forget that there is one more category beyond "administration, professors, 
postdocs, grad students and undergrads", namely people at places like IPAC 
or JPL or even GSFC, Ames, etc. Because STScI has tenure, it maps more easily 
into the "professor" model of doing things, but there are lots of other 
astronomers at national labs who don't fit so neatly into that model -- I'm
neither a professor nor a postdoc. I suspect a lot of women are in this 
situation -- certainly lots at IPAC! :) You might call us "staff astronomers" 
or some such, perhaps you already have a better name.

(2) Someone at the conference asked for a website of recommendations of 
things to consider when looking for grad schools. I've got this posted here:

2. The situation for women in medicine
From: Patricia Knezek

For those of you who find yourselves on American Airlines flights through
the end of the month, the "American Way" magazine has a very interesting
article on the impact of women entering the medical field.  One fascinating
conclusion is that while women doctors are highly sought after because they
tend to spend more time with patients and are perceived to be more 
compassionate than their male counterparts, their desire to balance work and
personal life costs them in income and advancement.  For those of you who
don't actually plan on flying American in the next three days, you can also
access the article at:

3. Computer program detects author gender
From: Lisa Frattare

An article recently appeared in Nature that might be of interest.  The title
is "Computer program detects author gender: Simple algorithm suggests words 
and syntax bear sex and genre stamp."  The url is:

4. Campus Equity Week
From: Christopher M Cumo

Greetings - Please forgive this intrusion on your time as well as the generic 
nature of this e-mail. The American Association of University Professors & 
other organizations are sponsoring Campus Equity Week (CEW) this fall to 
heighten awareness of the poor pay & working conditions of many adjunct & 
part-time faculty. I am preparing a story on CEW & want to go beyond the
perspective of the leadership in an attempt to understand whether CEW really 
makes a difference to adjunct & part-time faculty. The first CEW was held in 
October 2001, as I recall, & the second CEW is planned for this October.

1. Are you familiar with CEW? (I confess I was not until I began work on this 
if yes:

2. To your knowledge did your campus host any event for CEW in 2001? Is it 
   planning an event for the 2003 CEW?

3. Have you achieved any concrete benefit from the 2001 CEW? Do you expect 
   any benefit from the 2003 CEW?

I would be pleased to discuss these issues by phone should you find it more 
convenient than e-mail. Thank you so much for your help.

Yours sincerely,
Chris Cumo
staff writer & assistant editor
The Adjunct Advocate

5. Comment on the AAAS project in Latin America for women scientists
From: Andrea Schweitzer

[Eds. note:  See the AASWOMEN issue of July 11, 2003 for the announcement
referred to here.]

In the last emailing, I read the announcment on the AAAS project in Latin 
America for women scientists.

When I mentioned it to my latin friends who are scientists, they suggested 
that the spirit of the program is a good one (encouraging latinas in science), 
but it sounded one-sided.

There was the concern that it comes across at the US trying to show the rest 
of the Americas "how it's done" when the US isn't always that great about how 
women scientists are treated here. (Sort of like George W. going to other
countries to show them how to run a democratic election...)

Perhaps having a program that would also showcase latin women scientists in 
the US, and what we could learn from them, too? Just some ideas from a 
"gringa" -- but I'd like to hear what others think, especially the CSMA.

Andrea Schweitzer
Little Thompson Observatory
(in northern Colorado, where there is a large latin / hispanic population)

P.S. Also, I had a great time at the Women in Astronomy conference last 
month. Thank you to the meeting organizers for creating such a terrific 

6. Tenure-track position in Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University
From: Christine Wilson

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University invites
applications from women and Aboriginal peoples for a tenure-track faculty
position at the Assistant Professor level, which will commence July 2004.
The successful candidate will be nominated for an NSERC University Faculty
Award ( and must meet NSERC's eligibility
criteria for this award; in particular, an applicant must be a Canadian
citizen or a permanent resident of Canada as of the nomination date.

The full text and information about the department can be found at

Christine Wilson

7. Faculty Position, Experimental Space-Based Astronomy

> From WIPHYS of July 17, 2003

The Department of Physics and Astronomy
( ) at the University of Iowa invites
applications for a tenure-track faculty position to begin in fall 2004.
We seek to hire an astronomer with a strong background in
research and instrumentation for space-based astronomical

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa has a
distinguished history of space experimental work and an established
infrastructure for supporting spacecraft instrumentation programs.
We are open to a broad range of topics in space-based astronomy
and astrophysics. Members of our department in the areas of
astronomy, astrophysics, space and plasma physics have been
successful at combining theoretical work with ground- and space-
based experimental results. Current research efforts include
magnetospheric and planetary space physics, plasma astrophysics,
galactic and extragalactic radio astronomy, X-ray astronomy, stellar
wind theory, and particle astrophysics.

A Ph.D. in Astronomy, Physics or a related discipline is required
and a background in the design/development/implementation of
astronomical instrumentation for space-based missions is preferred.
The Department anticipates making this appointment at the
assistant or associate professor level depending on the candidate's
previous experience. Rank and salary will be commensurate with
the candidate's qualifications and experience.

Please send a CV, statements of research and teaching interests,
and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to Chair
of the Astronomy Faculty Search Committee, Department of
Physics and Astronomy, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
52242-1479. For the fullest consideration application materials
should arrive by January 15, 2004.

 The University of Iowa is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 

8. Jansky Fellowships 2004

> From WIPHYS of July 17, 2003

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces a
postdoctoral fellowship program that provides outstanding
opportunities for research in astronomy. The Jansky Postdoctoral
fellows formulate and carry out investigations either independently
or in collaboration with others within the wide framework of
interests of the Observatory. Prior radio experience is not a
requirement. Multi-wavelength projects leading to a synergy with
NRAO instruments are strongly encouraged.

The starting salary will be $48,000 per year with an appointment
duration of two years that may be renewed for a third year. There
is a research budget of $7,000 per year for travel and computing
requirements. In addition, page charge support, as well as vacation
accrual, health insurance, and a moving allowance are provided.

Up to three appointments will be made annually for positions at any
of the NRAO sites (Tucson, AZ; Socorro, NM; Green Bank, WV;
and Charlottesville, VA). The Jansky Fellows are encouraged to
spend time at universities working with collaborators during the
course of their fellowship. In addition, up to three Jansky
Postdoctoral appointments will be made annually for positions that
may be located at a U.S. university or research institute. The
application will include a plan for the host institution as well as a
letter from the departmental chair agreeing with the research
proposal. Frequent and /or long term visits to NRAO sites are

The NRAO web site at
postdocs.shtml provides a description of the application process.
The candidates must have received their PhD prior to beginning the

The deadline for applications and letters of recommendation is
December 7, 2003. The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer

9. Postdoctoral position - X-ray Astronomy
From: Jean Swank

-- I am advertising through the Universities Space Research Association 
(USRA) for a postdoctoral research scientist to work with me in the X-Ray
Astrophysics Group in NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for High 
Energy Astrophysics on X-ray studies of compact X-ray sources. As Project 
Scientist of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) I monitor the 
performance of the instruments and the achievement of the scientific goals 
of the observing programs. We have a strong program of analysis of our own 
RXTE observations and also observations with Chandra, XMM-Newton and 
INTEGRAL. There will be opportunities for participation in programs 
associated with future missions.

The position is most suitable for a Ph. D., or equivalent, in Astronomy or
Physics. Background could be in theoretical research, in data analysis, or 
in the laboratory, but the position will entail data analysis, attention to 
some detector properties, source modelling, and the exercise of computer 
skills in an interesting, helpful, and exciting environment. Send curriculum 
vitae and contacts for at least three references via the WWW at:
or email to

Jean Swank