AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 11, 2006
eds. Patricia Knezek, Jim Ulvestad, & Joan Schmelz

This week's issues:

1. Article on "The mismeasure of woman" in the Economist

2. Response to woman seeking advice re astronomy as a second career

3. Items of interest in the August 2006 Physics Today

4. 2006 Diversity and Women Leadership Summit & Gala

5. The "Expert Mind" and Innate Abilities

6. L'OREAL USA Fellowships for Women in Science program 

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

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1. Article on "The mismeasure of woman" in the Economist
From: John Mather (John.C.Mathernasa.gov)

Hi,

Another interesting link to a story on women in science, in the Economist:

http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7245949

John

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2. Response to woman seeking advice re astronomy as a second career
From: Diana Londish (Diana.Londishcsiro.au)

[Eds. note: This response refers to item #2 in last week's (04 Aug. 06)
AASWOMEN issue.]

Hi,
 
Your email of Aug 4 was forwarded to me.
 
I decided in my mid-40s that I wanted to be an astrophysicist (in Australia)
 
I attended government run colleges to complete my high school education (only 
fee was $100) while working part-time.  I then attended university (fees 
about $2000 a year) for 5 years, studying and working part-time (as well as 
being a full time mum of course!)
 
For my PhD I received a Mature-Age Scholarship - about $17,000 a year (Aussie 
dollars) for 4 years, supplemented by tutoring at the University
 
I graduated in 2004 (first job was with JPL in Pasadena), now I'm back in 
Australia, without a "proper" astronomy job but working as a technical writer 
and executive assistant at the Australia Telescope in relation to Australia's 
bid to host the SKA.
 
Some details of how I achieved all this can be found at
http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/Diana.Londish/me.html
 
I'd be happy to answer any emails from Heidi Hammel [and Amy Ziffer].
 
Cheers,
Diana

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3. Items of interest in the August 2006 Physics Today
From: Jim Ulvestad (julvestaaoc.nrao.edu)

The August 2006 Physics Today has several items that may be of interest to 
AASWOMEN readers.  On page 11, there are two letters responding to articles 
last year about women in academic physics.  On page 29, there is a brief 
description of an AIP survey of 1350 female physicists from 70 countries.
Their report, "Women Physicists Speak Again," may be found at 
http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/gendertrends.html  .

- Jim Ulvestad -

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4. 2006 Diversity and Women Leadership Summit & Gala
From: Patricia Knezek (knezeknoao.edu)

The Business Women's Network will be holding a two day conference on diversity
issues as well as practical learning, professional development, and 
networking on October 25 & 26, 2006 in Washington, DC.  For more information,
see:

http://guest.cvent.com/i.aspx?1Q,P1,1423D826-6145-4FCD-9399-A1765145CFBB

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5. The "Expert Mind" and Innate Abilities
From: WIPHYS of August 8, 2006

Readers may be interested in the cover article of Scientific American, 
August 2006, pp. 64-71, titled "The Expert Mind".  The thesis is that 
"[e]ffortful study is the key to achieving success in chess, classical music, 
soccer and many other fields.  New research has indicated that motivation is 
a more important factor than innate ability."  Particularly interesting is a 
2002 study of "British chess players ranging from amateurs to grandmasters 
[that] found no connection at all between their playing strengths and their 
visual-spatial abilities, as measured by shape-memory tests."  The key factor 
instead seems to be the ability and motivation to put in ten years of hard 
work to master a field.  I think this bears significantly on the "innate 
physics ability of men versus women" argument.

Heather Logan
Department of Physics, 
Carleton University
loganphysics.carleton.ca 

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6. L'OREAL USA Fellowships for Women in Science program 
From: WIPHYS of August 11, 2006

Now in its fourth year, the L'OREAL USA Fellowships for Women in Science 
program announces the 2007 call for applications.  Since its launch in May of 
2003, the U.S. Fellowship program, which complements the company's 
international L'OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science program has recognized and 
rewarded exceptionally talented young women engaged in breakthrough 
scientific research.

In the past, the highly selective postdoctoral fellowship program has awarded  
$20,000 grants to each of five recipients annually.  Beginning in 2007 
however, the fellowship grants will increase in value to $40,000 per 
recipient.  The L'OREAL USA Fellowships for Women in Science are awarded to 
women engaged in basic research in the life and physical/material sciences, 
technology (including computer science), engineering and mathematics.  

Candidates who would like to apply may visit the L'OREAL USA Fellowships for 
Women in Science site at http://www.lorealusa.com/forwomeninscience , to 
obtain more information about program eligibility and requirements. 
Applications are available in downloadable and online formats. 

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