AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of February 25, 2005 & March 4, 2005
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Lisa Frattare

These week's issues:

1. Request for Input on Future of Annie Jump Cannon Award

2. AWIS - Message to Members - Mentornet Petition

3. Pasadena Recommendations  
  i. Section E. Cultural Issues 
  ii. Section F. Statistical Information

4. TIME Magazine articles in March 7, 2005 issue

5. Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Bates College

6. Program Officer, Division of Astronomical Sciences, NSF 


7. Woman Physicists Guide (con't)

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

1. Request for Input on Future of Annie Jump Cannon Award
From: AJC Award Comments ajccommentsdtm.ciw.edu
Forwarded by Alycia Weinberger (Carnegie, DTM)

I am chairing a committee to consider the future of the Annie Jump
Cannon (AJC) Award and make recommendations to the AAS Council. The
other committee members are Wal Sargent, Bruce Carney, and Susana
Deustua. We would like your input.

The Annie Jump Cannon Award was first established in 1934 by the
American Astronomical Society based on an endowment left to the AAS by
Annie Jump Cannon to honor a woman in astronomy. In 1974, the prize
administration was turned over to the American Association of University
Women Educational Foundation when the AAS became uncomfortable with
awarding a prize that explicitly favored women. An AAS committee
appointed by the Council continued to advise the AAUW on the selection
of the winner.  During this time, the award has honored a woman
postdoctoral scholar for significant research in astronomy.  Nominees
had to be women in the early stages of a career in astronomy with
preference given to nominees who had held a doctorate for at least one
year.  In recent times, the AJC has often been referred to as a "prize"
but was really more of an "award" in the sense that the nominee had to
submit a research proposal.  The award was $5000.

The AAS awards two prizes for astronomers (of either sex) in the early
stages of their careers. The Helen B. Warner Prize must be awarded to an
astronomer younger than 36 or within eight years of receipt of the
doctorate. It is frequently awarded to theorists.  The Newton Lacy
Pierce Prize for observational research must be awarded to an astronomer
younger than 36.  The record for women winning these prizes is
abysmal. Since 1974, women have won 6/31 Pierce and 0/32 Warner Prizes.
Of the six women who have won the Pierce, 3 have also won the AJC (1-5
years before winning the Pierce).  A list of winners can be found at 

Current Status: Hiatus (the AJC Award will not be awarded in 2005)
In 2004, the AAUW notified the AAS that the endowment for the AJC could
not support a $5000 award per year and that the AAUW could no longer
make up the difference. The AAS decided to reclaim the principle of the
endowment and decide what to do for continuing the award. The AAUW has
thus severed its connection with the award.  The unanimous feeling of
the AAS Council is that it wishes to continue the award and to honor
Annie Jump Cannon original intention in donating its endowment.

Some Questions to Consider:
--Should there be a prize in astronomical research designated only for
--Is it appropriate for the AAS, which is otherwise required not to
discriminate on the basis of sex, to designate an award only for women?
--Is the existence of the AJC helping or preventing women from being
  nominated for and/or winning the Warner and Pierce prizes?
--Should the AJC be an "award" or a "prize?"

Other professional societies do have awards just for excellence in
research by women. The American Physical Society awards the Maria
Goeppert-Mayer Award and the American Mathematical Society awards the
Ruth Lyttle Salter Prize.

Proposals for the Future of the AJC
Listed below, in rough order of how much of a change they entail from
the status quo, are five ideas for the form the AJC might take. We are
interested in your feedback on these as well as new suggestions.

1. Continue the AJC award in its present form, but find another
organization devoted to women to award it.
2. Continue the award in its present form, awarded directly from the AAS
3. Continue to make the AJC an award for a postdoctoral scholar, but
have the AAS make it in alternate years to a man or a woman.
4. Change the nature of the award from the postdoctoral era, which can
overlap with the Warner and Pierce, to a dissertation prize, but
still make the award for women only.
5. Change the nature of the award from research to the promotion of 
women in astronomy. Men would be eligible to win. Award it from the AAS.

The other AAS prizes carry awards ranging from $1500 (for Warner and
Pierce) to $4000 for the Russell Prize. The current AJC endowment
($10000) will support only a $500 award each year. So, to bring the AJC
up to the levels of the other prizes, the AAS would have to raise at
least $20,000. We could award the prize during the fund-raising period,
albeit at a low amount.  As an award, that is for a competition that
involves a research proposal, at least $1500 seems necessary to enable
the winner to do something useful such as attend a conference or buy a

Please send us your input on what form the award should take, what the
most appropriate amount would be, and whether you would be willing to
contribute to the AJC endowment.  Email your comments to
ajccommentsdtm.ciw.edu.  They must be received by April 30 to be
included in committee discussions in preparation for the AAS Council
meeting in Minneapolis.

2. AWIS - Message to Members - Mentornet Petition
Forwarded by Amy Simon-Miller simonlepasm.gsfc.nasa.gov
From: AWIS Member Services membershipawis.org

[Eds. Note: We wish to bring to your attention the March 8, 2005 deadline 
on the below item. Signatures coming in after that date will be added to 
future letters, as per the signature page.] 

Dear AWIS Members:

On behalf of a group motivated to take action in the last few weeks in
response to national discussions about women in science, I am writing to
let you know of a letter immediately available for signing which is
intended to provide encouragement and reinforcement to the Congress of the
United States to take action on this agenda.  We are trying to collect as
Senators in time for International Women's Day on March 8.

If you are: a)interested in advancing women's participation in science, 
b) a scientist, engineer, mathematician, or a professor or student in 
one of these fields, or c) are linked to colleagues, members, and 
constituents who are scientists, engineers, mathematicians, or professors 
or students in these fields, and d) are interested in encouraging the U.S. 
Congress to take action to address women's under-representation in these 
fields, please consider adding your name, and/or encouraging others to add 
their names, to the letter now available at www.MentorNet.net/wyden-allen 
. Efforts are underway to obtain 
hundreds of individual signatures on this letter, which will be sent to 
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and George Allen requesting greater Congressional 
(U.S. national policy) attention to the current under-representation of 
women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Please 
forward this message to others who may be interested. Thank you for your 

Susan Ganter, 
AWIS Executive Director on behalf of the AWIS National Executive Board

[Eds. note: From the submission form: "If signatures continue to be added, 
we will send monthly iterations to these two senators for some time."]

3. Pasadena Recommendations  
  i. Section E. Cultural Issues 
  ii. Section F. Statistical Information
From: Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy

As stated in previous issues of AASWOMEN, we will be using this space
to provide the text of the Pasadena Recommendations on Equity in
Astronomy, endorsed by the AAS Council on January 9, 2005. In this
edition, we give the final two recommendations on cultural issues and
statistical information.

(i.) E. Cultural Issues
Some of the strongest, but most difficult to quantify, reasons that 
individuals from underrepresented groups can feel disadvantaged arise 
from a mismatch with the majority "culture" -- i.e., implicit norms 
and expectations of behavior. Specific recommendations that are made 
above would go far toward dealing with some of these issues in terms 
of policies and practices, but there remains a large gray area of 
subtle cultural issues that contribute to the underrepresentation of 
women in tenured and other leadership roles. In the words of Jocelyn 
Bell Burnell (Science 304, p. 489, 2004): "Women and minorities should 
not do all the adapting. It is time for society to move toward women, 
not women toward society."

1. Institutions should encourage gender-equity training and make it 
available at all levels. This should include discussions of the well-
studied effects of subtle discrimination, unconscious bias, and the 
accumulation of disadvantage.

2. In an era in which the ability to work within a large team is 
becoming increasingly important for scientific success, departments 
should foster a collaborative and team-oriented approach rather than 
just the more traditional, competitive scientific culture. 
Responsibilities and rewards should be shared equitably in the team 
environment. It is also expected that such a team should be composed 
of diverse members of the department, where appropriate (for example, 
men and women, junior and senior faculty, students, etc.).

3. Good communication channels should be maintained and encouraged
throughout academic departments and laboratories, both within peer 
groups and spanning traditional hierarchical levels. Department 
chairs should organize regular opportunities for two-way communication 
throughout the hierarchy.

4. Institutions should ensure that a career in research is 
compatible with having a family; professional activities (e.g., 
class and meeting schedules) as well as employment benefits (e.g., 
childcare, family leave, etc.) should be developed with this 
specific goal in mind.

(ii.) F. Statistical Information
Evidence of the underrepresentation of women in the astronomical 
community relies on insufficient long-term statistical data. Recent 
studies (e.g., Hoffman in WIA-II proceedings) indicate that there 
still is a "leaky pipeline" in the road to tenure-track positions in 
astronomy. At present, more than half of the AAS members in the range
of 18-23 years of age are women, and one-third of the astronomy 
graduate students are women, but women occupy fewer than 15% of the 
astronomy tenure-track positions. Better longitudinal data, specific 
to astronomy, are needed to assess women's representation and to 
assess the effectiveness of remedies. The issue of statistics must 
be recognized for its central importance to understanding the social 
and cultural forces that shape the characteristics of our field.

1. The American Astronomical Society should commission immediately a
longitudinal study of young women in astronomy, beginning with those 
aged 18-23 in 2003. A similar group of men should be used as a 
comparison sample. Both subjects that remain in the field and those 
that leave the field should continue to be tracked for the duration 
of the study. The AAS should commit to continue this study for at 
least 10 years, in order to establish statistics on retention and 
career paths for this cohort. Professional sociologists, using 
accepted statistical techniques, should carry out this study. One 
goal of this study would be to measure whether there is differential 
attrition of women from the pipeline and if so, to learn the reasons 
for it.

2. The AAS should form a "Committee on Statistics" whose main 
objective would be collecting, analyzing and reporting data on the 
demographics of our field. This committee could work closely with 
the CSWA and other relevant AAS committees (as well as organizations 
such as the National Science Foundation and American Institute of 
Physics (AIP) that conduct their own surveys). This committee should 
provide complete and regular access to statistics on items such as 
gender balance, the fraction of beginning students who earn their 
Ph.D., and the mean time to completion.

3. The above mentioned committee's prime focus should be to examine 
the demographic status of the AAS membership and the astronomical 
community in a three-fold approach: (a) mining standardized yearly 
departmental reports (using those currently administered by the AIP) 
for statistical information, (b) administering and analyzing in depth
periodic surveys (every 2 to 3 years but no more than 5 years between 
surveys) similar to the STScI/CSWA survey, and (c) giving input to 
and reporting results from longitudinal studies.

4. TIME Magazine articles in March 7, 2005 issue

Amy Simon-Miller (GSFC) has brought to our attention that Time Magazine 
(March 7, 2005 Vol. 165 No. 10) has several stories of relevance to women 
in math and science. The On-Line Edition has links to these stories that 
are partially or fully available without a subscription. 

Who Says A Woman Can't Be Einstein? (cover story)

Steering Girls into Science (with quote from astronomer Anneila Sargent)

Bad Idea. You'll Flunk Out

The Iceland Exception: A Land Where Girls Rule in Math
http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050307/sciceland.html       - Eds.

5. Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Bates College
From: Paula Brown pbrownbates.edu

The Bates College Department of Physics and Astronomy invites applications 
from physicists and astrophysicists for a one-year position as Visiting 
Assistant Professor, beginning September 2005. The successful candidate 
must demonstrate interest in teaching in a vigorous undergraduate program, 
welcome the opportunity for close interaction with students, and be able to 
guide research by advanced undergraduate physics majors. Outstanding 
applicants who are ABD will be considered. Salary is competitive.

Review of applications begins March 28, 2005, and will continue until the 
position is filled. Please mail a letter of application, curriculum vitae, 
brief statement of teaching and research interests, copies of graduate and 
undergraduate transcripts and three letters of recommendation to:
Physics and Astronomy Search (#R2356), c/o Bates College Academic Services,
2 Andrews Rd., 7 Lane Hall, Lewiston, ME 04240

Bates College values a diverse college community and seeks to assure equal 
opportunity through a continuing and effective Affirmative Action Program.

6. Program Officer, Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation 
in Optical/IR Astronomy, Division of Astronomical Sciences, NSF 
From: Eileen D. Friel  efrielnsf.gov

NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences is seeking qualified applicants 
for the position of Program Officer, Advanced Technologies and 
Instrumentation in Optical/IR Astronomy. The candidate will have 
primary responsibility for the oversight, coordination and management 
of grants programs and projects involving optical/IR instrumentation 
and technology development, including the optical/IR component of the 
Division's Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) program, the 
Program for Research and Education with Small Telescopes (PREST), and 
the NSF-wide instrumentation programs such as the Major Research 
Instrumentation (MRI) program. In consultation with other Program Officers 
in the Division, the candidate will coordinate these programs with the 
ongoing instrumentation and technology development efforts at the national 
observatories (Gemini, NOAO, NSO) in order to develop and optimize an 
efficient and cost-effective system of ground-based optical/IR 
instrumentation. The candidate may manage or assist in the review and 
administration of projects involving the design and development of 
future facility-class instruments or observing capabilities. The candidate 
will be involved in activities that include planning, budget development, 
the merit review and proposal recommendation process, the preparation of 
written material about the research supported by the Division, and liaison 
with other NSF programs, Federal agencies and organizations. Candidates are 
expected to work with the astronomical research and education community to 
broaden the diversity of participants in NSF programs. The position will be 
filled on a permanent or a temporary basis to commence by summer of 2005. 

The salary range, which includes locality pay adjustment, is from $88,369 
to $137,713 per annum. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience 
in astronomy, astrophysics, or a closely related field, plus six or more 
years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial 
experience beyond the Ph.D. Announcement E20050047 (Permanent) or E20050050 
(Temporary), with position requirements and application procedures, is 
located on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/about/career_opps/.

Applicants should submit a resume or application of your choice and a 
narrative statement that addresses your background and/or experience 
related to the position to the National Science Foundation, Division of 
Human Resource Management, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230, by 
April 15, 2005. Telephone inquiries may be referred to the Executive and 
Visiting Personnel Branch at 703-292-8577. For technical information, 
contact Dr. Eileen D. Friel, AST Executive Officer, 703-292-4895. 
(Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD 703-292-8044). 

7. Woman Physicists Guide
From WIPHYS of February 23, 2005

A scanned version of my recently published "Woman Physicist's
Guide to Speaking" is available on my web site, if you do not
subscribe to "Physics Today."  The address is:

The published version is much shorter than the original version I 
wrote, which attempted to address particular problems women face
in more depth.  The longer version is also considerably more
controversial than the published version and may not be appropriate
to pass out to your classes, but some on this listserve may find it
interesting.  It can be found at:

Heidi Newberg newbehrpi.edu

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