AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of June 09, 2006
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Joan Schmelz
 
This week's issues:

1. Women in Astronomy vs. Physics

2. Women Science/Math Faculty Percentages

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

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1. Women in Astronomy vs. Physics
From: WIPHYS June 9, 2006 

According to the May 2006 _Physics Today_, "In the fall of 2003 . . . women 
made up 21% of the new graduate students in physics and 41% in astronomy."  
Coupled with similar data from 2002, these statistics indicate that astronomy 
is nearly twice as appealing to women as the rest of physics.  The question is, 
why?  Given that physics and astronomy graduate students are usually enrolling 
in the very same departments, a lot of the usual explanations for low female 
interest in physics simply don't apply.  Most optimistically we might consider 
that if we could figure out what astronomy programs are doing right, we could 
significantly increase women's participation in the rest of physics.

Alison Chaiken					
alisonwsrcc.com 

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2. Women Science/Math Faculty Percentages
From: WIPHYS June 9, 2006 

Subscribers may or may not be interested in my post: 
"Women Are Not Represented on Science/Math Faculties in Proportion to Their 
Earning of Undergraduate and PhD Degrees," online at 

http://listserv.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0606&L=pod&O=D&P=1608

ABSTRACT: Some of the extensive data in Donna Nelson's 2005 Diversity Survey 
of the "top fifty" research universities is indicated for the fields 
BioScience, Chemistry, Economics, Math, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and 
Psychology for:

(a) %'s of female and male faculty vs. %'s obtaining BS degrees, showing that 
the (1) the leak in the BS to faculty pipeline is much larger for females than 
for males and largest of all for females in math, and (2) psychology has by far 
the largest % of males on the faculty in proportion to males obtaining 
undergraduate degrees; and

(b) % of female Assistant Professors compared with the % of females attaining 
PhD's (1993-2002), showing that that ratio r = %Asst.Profs/%PhD's is about 0.7, 
except for physics (0.84) and MechEng (1.51). Practices in Mechanical 
Engineering departments would seem to merit further study.

Nelson concludes that "in most science disciplines studied, qualified female 
candidates exist, but they are not achieving assistant professorships. Whether 
hiring and work practices at the nation's top universities actively 
discriminate cannot be answered by this study. However, the numbers clearly 
indicate a grave national problem that must be aggressively addressed now."   
If you're interested in scanning the entire 15kB post, please click on 

http://listserv.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0606&L=pod&O=D&P=1608

Richard Hake 
Emeritus Professor of Physics
Indiana University
rrhakeearthlink.net

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

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