Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:03:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for October 22, 2004

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of October 22, 2004
eds. Patricia Knezek, Michael Rupen, & Jim Ulvestad

This week's issues:

1. Comments on AASWOMEN Job Postings, continued

2. Online Journal Statistics

3. Response to "Resources for studying astronomy in Argentina?"

4. Response to "Career Breaks/Re-Entry"

5. Chronicle article: Women Who Cite Sex Bias in Tenure Lawsuits Face High 
   Costs and Long Odds, Report Says

6. CNN article "Equal pay for women? Not till 2050"

7. Request for advice for prospective graduate students

8. Fellowship in Planetary Sciences Institute

9. Openings for two NGSC Assistant Astronomers/Scientists

10. Recruitment Notices from NOAO

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

1. Comments on AASWOMEN Job Postings, continued
From: AASWOMEN Editors

[Eds. Note: This is in response to Sue Simpkin's comment as published item
#1 in the AASWOMEN of October 15, 2004.]

From: Jim Ulvestad
RE: Job Postings in AASWOMEN

Hi Sue et al.

In fact, a discussion of these points is exactly what led to our question
of whether we should be including job ads at all.  Namely, are we
just providing an easy way for people to check off a box on an
affirmative action form, when they really don't want to do anything
different than before?

Here at NRAO, we have an ad-hoc committee on increasing diversity
in hiring, and we have been working fairly diligently at trying to
put together plans to encourage women to apply for positions, at
determining what some of the issues are that prevent women from
applying or succeeding, etc.  Unfortunately, it's hard to do a lot
about the dual-career issues and the small-town/isolation issues in
Green Bank and Socorro.

But the proof is in what an organization actually accomplishes.  An
organization/observatory/university may succeed in increasing the number of
applicants from under-represented groups.  But if their long-term record shows
that their practices have not, in fact, resulted in the HIRING of a higher
fraction of qualified women, one has to ask the following question(s).
Were they really making a significant effort, was the organization really
committed to achieving enhanced diversity, or did they do most of the
right things and just have a bad run of luck?   If one looks at long-term
records and trends, "bad luck" probably is less of a valid reason than
it might be for any individual position.

- Jim -

2. Online Journal Statistics
From: Christiane Helling

Does somebody know where to obtain reliable statistics regarding the online 
access of the various scientific journals? I'd be interested to see how 
often a scientist searches online material per day / per month etc. It would 
also be interesting to see this listed per country.

Thanks for the help,
Christiane Helling

3. Response to "Resources for studying astronomy in Argentina?"
From: Jay Pasachoff

[Eds. note:  This is in response to item #2 in the AASWOMEN of October 15,

In our Commission on Education and Development of the International 
Astronomical Union, we have National Liaisons for all the member countries of 
the IAU. Your correspondent can find the contact information for the 
Argentinian National Liaison at our Website at:  
We also have a series of International Schools for Young Astronomers, meant 
for graduate students and recent Ph.D.'s. The next is in Mexico this summer. 
The URL for further informationon the school is:

Perhaps that situation is not yet appropriate for your correspondent, but she 
can also find information the Website, or she can contact me.

Jay Pasachoff, as president of IAU Commission 46 on Education and Development

4. Response to "Career Breaks/Re-Entry"
From: Christiane Helling

[Eds. Note:  This is in response to item #3 in the AASWOMEN of October 15,

On Elizabeth Freeland's mail on career breaks:

I've looked up with great interest your website about the career break issue. 
The compiled suggestions and ideas sound very idealistic to me since I never 
met a conference organiser even considering some childcare solution for 
attending mothers.

Christiane Helling

5. Chronicle article: Women Who Cite Sex Bias in Tenure Lawsuits Face High 
   Costs and Long Odds, Report Says
From: Meg Urry

[Eds. Note:  The Chronicle article may now only be available to subscribers,
but could still be downloaded for non-subscribers as of Sunday, October
24, 2004.]

This is a brief, extremely interesting article summarizing a study by the 
AAUW on what happens to women who sue universities for sex discrimination 
because they were denied tenure. Of the 19 cases considered, 2 won, 7 settled, 
8 lost at trial, and 2 are still pending. Some cases took more than a decade 
to resolve, and plaintiffs incurred costs from $20,000 to $200,000 or more. 
"The burden of proof for plaintiffs is onerous," says the report, and "in most 
cases that reach trial, universities win." This had always been my impression 
but this is the first study I've seen to document a broad range of cases. It 
would be interesting to see the AAUW report (I have only read the short CHE 
article about it).

Meg Urry

This article, "Women Who Cite Sex Bias in Tenure Lawsuits Face
High Costs and Long Odds, Report Says," is available online at
this address:

This article will be available to non-subscribers of The
Chronicle for up to five days after it is e-mailed.

The article is always available to Chronicle subscribers at this

6. CNN article "Equal pay for women? Not till 2050"
From: Amy Simon-Miller>

7. Request for advice for prospective graduate students
From: Fran Bagenal

Dear AASWOMEN readers,

For the next issue of STATUS I am gathering advice for women - and men - 
thinking of applying to graduate school in astronomy.  Please send me your 
top 3 pieces of advice to prospective grad students.  For example, my advice 

(1) Visit the grad schools to which you are accepted and make a decision 
based on your gut reaction to the people, place and program (rather than 
perceived national ranking).

(2) If you take the physics GRE then study seriously for the exam. If you do 
not take the physics GRE recognize that unless you have good grades in 
physics courses at a well known college/university, then the places you are 
applying to will not have this simple quantitative basis to judge your 
application compared with the 150 others.

(3) If you do an REU at a non-academic institution (e.g. govt. lab) make sure  
the person writing your recommendation letters can make a useful comparison 
of your performance with those of other students. (General statements such as 
"I was amazed how quickly Amanda learned how to analyze the data" are nice but 
useless for admission committees. We are looking for "I was impressed that 
within a month Amanda taught herself IDL, learned how to extract and calibrate 
data from the BLAH database and re-plot them in the new co-ordinate system she 
developed with my assistance. I have worked with 10 students over the past 3 
summers and the only student of her caliber is now finishing a PhD at Top 
Notch U.")

Fran Bagenal

8. Fellowship in Planetary Sciences Institute
From: Theresa Gallagher

Australian National University


Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics / Research School of Earth 

Two positions in Cosmochemistry / Planetary Science
Research Fellow (5 years fixed term) and/or Fellow (continuing)


The Planetary Sciences Institute (PSI) of the Australian National University 
seeks to understand the formation, evolution, diversity and fate of planetary 
systems in the universe and their relationship to our own Solar System. The 
PSI is a newly-funded undertaking between the Research Schools of Astronomy 
and Astrophysics (RSAA) and Earth Sciences (RSES) building on the strengths 
of their respective programs to develop new directions for planetary research 
that will shape our future understanding of the origin and evolution of 
planetary systems including: remote and direct analysis of extraterrestrial 
materials, extrasolar planet search and characterization programs, and 
theoretical modelling of planetary system processes.

PSI currently has a dozen associated faculty including an initial joint 
appointment. We are now seeking to fill two further joint positions. 
Appointees will be able to thrive in an environment characterized by the 
challenges and opportunities of an exploding field of cross-disciplinary 

Anticipating the rapid accumulation of new observations of our and other 
planetary systems we are looking for cosmochemists and planetary scientists 
whose research complements, extends and connects existing research at RSAA 
and RSES. The appointee's research program could include: cosmochemistry, 
experimental petrology or microscale geoscience, numerical modelling of the 
dynamical evolution of proto-planetary material, disk mineralogy, planet 
formation and/or the detection, analysis and characterization of exoplanets.

Level of appointment will depend on level of qualifications and experience.

Selection Criteria: 
or email:

Enquiries about the position: Dr Charley Lineweaver, Coordinator, PSI 
(; or Professor Penny Sackett, Director, RSAA 
(; or Professor Mark Harrison, Director, RSES 

Planetary Sciences Institute website:

Closing date: 15 December 2004

Candidates should arrange for a minimum of 2 referees to submit their reports 
directly by email to: by the closing date.

9. Openings for two NGSC Assistant Astronomers/Scientists
From: Sally Adams

Two Assistant Astronomer/Scientist Positions - NOAO Gemini Science Center

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) invites applications for 
two scientific staff positions that will be filled either on the tenure track 
(50% research) or on the scientist track (20% research), depending on the 
candidates' interests and qualifications. The successful candidates will be 
expected to pursue a significant research program in observational astronomy 
as well as to actively participate in the NOAO Gemini Science Center.  One 
position will be located at NOAO's headquarters in Tucson, Arizona and the 
other at NOAO South in La Serena, Chile.

An excellent opportunity exists for candidates to use their scientific 
interests and experience to assist the U.S. community in exploiting the 
cutting-edge facilities of the Gemini Observatory.  World-class observing 
capabilities that are available or nearing readiness on the Gemini telescopes 
include mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy, adaptive-optics-enhanced 
infrared imaging and spectroscopy, integral-field spectroscopy in both the 
infrared and optical, and multi-slit spectroscopy in both the infrared and 
optical.  Interested applicants are invited to contact any member of the 
Search Committee (Chair is Dr. Taft Armandroff, NGSC Director; see NOAO 
Employment Opportunities Web site for full committee membership) with 
questions about this position or to discuss how their research interests may 
overlap with NGSC activities and plans.

The NOAO Gemini Science Center (NGSC) supports the U.S. astronomical community 
in its use of the twin Gemini 8-m telescopes.  Specifically, NGSC fosters open 
and direct communications with the U.S. astronomical community; provides 
support to U.S. Gemini proposers, users, and instrument builders; organizes 
U.S. opinion on Gemini matters; provides selected operations support at the 
Gemini telescopes; and assists in defining future scientific directions for 

The successful candidates will reside in the active research environments of 
either NOAO's Tucson headquarters, which is located on the University of 
Arizona campus, or NOAO South, which is located in the AURA campus in 
La Serena, Chile. The city of La Serena is a seaside resort in South America, 
with a climate very similar to San Diego, California. The AURA campus in 
La Serena includes the offices of CTIO, SOAR and Gemini South, with the 
offices of Las Campanas Observatory nearby. 

Applicants should submit electronically to the email address below a 
curriculum vitae, a statement of current research interests, and a 
description of how the applicant would contribute to the NOAO Gemini Science 
Center.  Please include in the cover letter an indication of whether you 
would like to be considered for the Tucson NGSC position, the La Serena NGSC 
position, or both. Applicants should also arrange for three professional 
references to send letters of recommendation electronically to the address 
below by the due date. 

Applications received prior to Saturday, January 15, 2005 are assured of 
full consideration.

NOAO fosters a diverse research environment, including attention to the needs 
of dual-career couples within the field of Astronomy. Women and candidates 
from underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Send materials to:


In the subject line, please reference NGSC Assistant 
Astronomer/Scientist #693.

Human Resources Manager
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Attn:  NGSC Assistant Astronomer/Scientist #693
P.O. Box 26732
Tucson, Arizona 85726-6732

FAX: 520-318-8456

NOAO is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer

Hiring preference is given to qualified Native Americans living on or near 
the Tohono O'Odham reservation.

10. Recruitment Notices from NOAO
From: Cindy Burnett

The following job openings at NOAO and NSO may be of interest.  For further
information, please go to:

Assistant Astronomer/Scientist, NOAO, La Serena, Chile
Engineering Project Manager, NOAO, Tucson, AZ

Leo Goldberg Fellowship, NOAO, Tucson, AZ

NGSC Assistant Astronomer/Scientist, NOAO, Tucson, AZ & La Serena, Chile

Postdoctoral Fellow & REU Director, NOAO, La Serena, Chile

Postdoctoral Research Associate, NOAO, Tucson, AZ

WIYN Project Scientist, NOAO, Tucson, AZ

ATST Project Manager, NSO, Tucson, AZ

Post Doctoral/Visiting Scientist, NSO, Sunspot, NM

Scientific Programmer, NSO, Tucson, AZ

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