AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 7, 2006
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Joan Schmelz

This week's issues:

1. Denice Denton Memorial Ceremony

2. Camilla Benbow Nominated to National Science Board

*** FOLLOWING POSITION WAS TAKEN FROM WIPHYS ***

3. Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology

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

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1. Denice Denton Memorial Ceremony
From: Laura Kay (lkaybarnard.edu)

Former NASA chief scientist France Cordova spoke at Denice Denton's
memorial ceremony.  Slide show, webcast, and audio recording of the
ceremony are available at 
http://www.ucsc.edu/administration/denice_denton/ .

[See June 29 special edition of AASWOMEN for more tributes to Denice
Denton. --eds.]

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2. Camilla Benbow Nominated to National Science Board
From: WIPHYS of July 5, 2006 (also forwarded by Meg Urry, meg.urryyale.edu)

In May, Bush appointed a National Mathematics Advisory Panel for education
whose vice-chair is  Camilla Benbow, a strong proponent of the view  that
there are intrinsic high-end gender differences in mathematical ability in
favor of males i.  The AWM has organized a petition protesting this
appointment. Info and links are at  
http://www.awm-math.org/benbow_petition/background.html 

My most serious concern is that Benbow has never altered her position in the
face of cogent criticism and conflicting data.   On the contrary, she
continued to cite a 13:1 ratio long after it was evident that it was at most
4:1.    This raises serious questions about how receptive she will be to
theories that conflict with her own and how this will affect the panel's work.
Her  13:1  ratio has been widely cited, especially by defenders of Summers
after that debacle.   For a particularly chilling example of how her work is
used, see
http://www.nas.org/publications/sci_newslist/6_4/b_careers.htm 
(and note the initials do NOT stand for National Academy of Science).  Copies
of Benbow's most recent papers are available on her web site.

Physicists are welcome to sign the petition.   Unfortunately, there is no slot
for field or institutional affiliation.   You may wish to add such info in the
comments section, as it can be useful for publicity to increase the impact.
It would be great if a volunteer is willing collect info about  physicists who
sign and are willing to have their name used in press releases.

Shortly after writing this, I learned I just learned that on June 15 Bush
announced that he plans to nominate Benbow to the National Science Board,
which oversees NSF. Additional information follows.

[Note two multi-line links below; you may have to edit the file
before you can click on them. --eds.]

http://204.89.131.201/articles/view/521326/ 

http://www.nagc.org/uploadedFiles/News_Room/Press_Releases/
Benbow_Nomination_National_Science_Board.pdf

http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/news_and_events/pr_061506.htm 

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/news/releases/2006/6/16/president-bush-
nominates-vanderbilt-education-dean-to-national-science-board

By the way, of related interest is the press release "U.S. Department of
Education to Partner with Girl Scouts of the USA to Expand Initiatives to
Encourage Girls to Discover the Wonders of Math and Science" that mentions
Benbow:
http://www.girlscouts.org/news/news_releases/2006/doe.asp 

Mary Beth Ruskai
marybeth.ruskaitufts.edu

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3. Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology
From: WIPHYS of July 5, 2006

The Rochester Institute of Technology Department of Physics invites
applications for a faculty position at the rank of Lecturer beginning
September 1, 2006. The primary responsibility is teaching introductory physics
in an activity-based, workshop format. Candidates must have a PhD in physics
or astronomy, experience teaching introductory physics, and strong
communication skills. Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the
United States from September 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. Familiarity with
current trends in undergraduate physics education is desirable.

A description of the RIT Department of Physics, including the application
procedure, is located at http://www.rit.edu/~physics/ . Applications may be
sent electronically. All application materials must be received by July 21,
2006. Inquiries should be addressed to Peter Cardegna, Chair of the Visiting
Faculty Search Committee at pacspsrit.edu or 585-475-2535.

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