AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy
Issue of May 4, 2005 and May 13, 2005
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Lisa Frattare

This week's issues:

1. March 3rd U. Calif. Forum on Women in Physical Sciences

2. Article: Why Women Leave Academic Physics

*** The following items are taken from WIPHYS ****

3. 19 Women Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

4. AIP Survey of Women in Physics

5. Encouraging Congress to Advance Women's Participation in STEM

6. "Is Being Female a Disability?"

7. Program Director for the Gravitational Physics Program, NSF


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

1. Forum Topics from "Our Lives as Women in Physical Sciences" Forum held 
   March 3, 2005
From: Tammy Smecker-Hane smeckercarina.ps.uci.edu

Dear CSWA Newsletter Readers:

I am an associate professor of astrophysics at the University of California, 
Irvine, and a member of the UCI ADVANCE program, which is dedicated to the
recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty and funded by a 
grant from the National Science Foundation. On March 3, 2005, ADVANCE
sponsored a forum for women graduate students and postdoctoral researchers 
in the School of Physical Science entitled "Our Lives as Women in Physical
Sciences." I was one of the four women faculty who introduced ourselves, 
gave a brief outline of our careers, and moderated an open question and 
answer session with the audience of 22 women.

The women raised some very profound questions such as:
(1) How hard is it to find two academic positions, one for you and one for 
your partner (the "Two-Body Problem")?, 
(2) Is it easier to work at a 4-year or community college than at a research 
(3) What do you do when you find the environment of the lab you're working 
in to be unacceptable because of sexual advances, rude comments, etc.? 
(4) How hard is it to have children and a career, and when do you suggest 
having children given that getting tenure conflicts with your biological 
clock? and
(5) Is it better to have a male or female adviser or mentor? The faculty 
did our best to provide some insight into the wide range of answers.

Faculty, students and postdocs all agreed that the discussion was fun, 
eye-opening and very rewarding!  I'd encourage other faculty to do something 
similar at their schools.

To create a lasting record for the benefit of those who didn't attend and 
for the benefit of future graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, 
the faculty moderators at our forum decided to post the questions and a 
summary of the answers discussed on the ADVANCE website at 
http://advance.uci.edu (currently the top item, but later on you can find 
it by going to the "Events" page and under "Past Events" look for "Our Lives 
as Women in Physics Sciences").


Tammy Smecker-Hane(tsmeckeruci.edu)
ADVANCE Equity Advisor, School of Physical Sciences
Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy

2. Article: Why Women Leave Academic Physics
From: AASWomen Editors

There is an interesting short article by Toni Feder in the May 2005 Physics 
Today, page 32. Entitled "Why Women Leave Academic Physics," it describes 
some preliminary results from a survey Fermilab postdoc Sherry Towers did 
to see why women physicists and astronomers leave academia.

3. 19 Women Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
From: WIPHYS of May 4, 2005

The National Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday that it has elected 
72 new members, of whom 19 are women. The list of new members is available 
on the Academy's web site at
http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/05032005?OpenDocument . 
Congratulations to physicists Deborah Jin (JILA/Univ of Colorado, Ellen 
Williams (Univ of Maryland) and Jocelyn Bell (Univ of Oxford/UK), as well 
as to the other distinguished women scientists who were elected this year!

News Articles on this subject:

The New York Times May 4, 2005: "National Academy of Sciences Elects 19 
Women, a New High" available at 

The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2005 "National Academy of 
Sciences Elects Record Number of Women as Members" available at 
(subscription required):
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v51/i36/36a02205.htm .

4. AIP Survey of Women in Physics
From: WIPHYS Posting for May 10, 2005

Dear Colleague:

We are writing to request your participation in a survey of women in 
physics. In conjunction with the Second International Conference on Women 
in Physics, the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of 
Physics is conducting a second survey of women in physics.

Please click on this link to go to the survey
http://www.aip.org/statistics/women . You will be redirected to our secure 
server. Your answers will be anonymous and will not be traceable to you. 
All identifying information will be removed from your answers.

We also conducted a survey before the first conference, and more than 1000 
women in 55 different countries answered the questionnaire. The results of 
the survey were published in the conference proceedings, and the report can 
be viewed at
http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/iupap.pdf .

We hope to have many respondents to this second survey and will publish our 
findings in the new conference proceedings.

If you know of any women in physics who would be willing to answer this 
survey, please forward this message to them. It is not necessary to attend 
the conference in order to answer the questionnaire.

Thank you for your help with this effort to reach many women physicists 
across the world. If you have any questions, you may contact Rachel Ivie of 
the American Institute of Physics, rivieaip.org.

5. Encouraging Congress to Advance Women's Participation in STEM
From: WIPHYS of May 13, 2005

On May 11, at an 11:30 a.m. press conference on Capitol Hill, a coalition 
of organizations and individuals presented U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) 
and George Allen (R-VA) a letter encouraging Congress to take action to 
advance women's full participation in science, technology, engineering, and 
mathematics. The letter outlines the issues and the efforts that must be 
taken to increase the numbers of all women entering these fields. "Over 
6,000 individuals have signed the letter," said Carol Muller, CEO of the 
non-profit MentorNet, one of the organizations involved in bringing together
the signers on this issue. "We must continue to take action to reverse the 
under-representation of women in these fields and to increase their 
opportunities. We must act now because our nation runs the risk of losing 
leadership in these fields." To learn more about the presentation of the 
letter to the Senators, or to read the letter, go to 

Carol Muller
Founder and CEO, MentorNet

6. "Is Being Female a Disability?"
From: WIPHYS of May 13, 2005

A post to Science magazine's blog that is not as inflammatory as the
title suggests.

Alison Chaiken http://www.wsrcc.com/alison/

7. Program Director for the Gravitational Physics Program
From: WIPHYS of May 13, 2005

NSF's Division of Physics (PHY) is seeking qualified candidates for Program 
Director for the Gravitational Physics Program, with major oversight 
responsibility for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory 
(LIGO). This position involves principal NSF responsibility for the 
coordination, management, and oversight for LIGO and planning and 
development for possible future construction of Advanced LIGO. For 
information about LIGO, see http://www.ligo.caltech.edu.

Appointment to this position may be on a permanent basis, a one or two year 
Visiting Scientist appointment, a Federal Temporary appointment, an 
Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment, or on detail from another 
agency. The salary range for NSF appointments is $88,369 to $137,713. 
Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in a relevant field of
physics or in a related field, plus six or more years of successful research, 
research administration, and managerial experience beyond the PhD, including 
experience with management and construction of large scientific facilities. 
Announcements E20050071 and E20050072-Rotator, with position requirements 
and application procedures, are located on the NSF Home Page at
http://www.nsf.gov/about/career_opps/vacancies/scientific.jsp .
Applicants may also obtain the announcements by contacting Florentina 
Costache at 703-292-5330 or Maria Sutton at 703-292-4364 (Hearing impaired 
individuals may call TDD 703-292-8044). NSF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Laura P. (Pat) Bautz
Acting Executive Officer
Physics Division, National Science Foundation
(703) 292-7211

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