AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of November 17, 2006
eds. Patricia Knezek & Joan Schmelz
This week's issues:

1. Yes, Virginia, Discrimination and Harassment Do Still Happen

2. The Hidden Giants

3. Amy Barger Receives MGM Award

4. SLAC Education Officer Position

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

1. Yes, Virginia, Discrimination and Harassment Do Still Happen
From: Joan Schmelz and Patricia Knezek 

The good news for women in astronomy is that incidents of overt sexual 
discrimination and sexual harassment have declined dramatically in 
recent years. The bad news is that there are still problems, especially 
for grad students and post docs. Sometimes we don't realize that these 
problems are still out there until something happens to us or to someone 
we know personally.

As members of CSWA, young women sometimes seek us out to ask for advice 
or just talk about problems. We do our best to help, but we are not trained 
professionals. We thought many heads can be better than two, so we would 
like some advice from readers of AASWOMEN on two particular issues. We 
would also like to encourage readers to broaden the topic to other issues. 
No doubt some of you have developed good responses and advice, and we 
would like to widely distribute this information in order to benefit all. 
Rather than betray confidences or reveal personal details for the two 
issues we are raising here, we have chosen instead to combine similar 
incidents that have happened to each of us and volunteer to be the 
guinea pigs. 

1) Unethical conduct by a superior - your superior (boss, advisor, mentor, 
senior collaborator, etc.) has turned on you; the reasons could be sexual, 
personal, or professional. He starts to poison the community against you. 
You hear that he is spreading rumors or writing negative comments in 
letters of recommendation. As a result, you may never get a(nother) job 
in astronomy. What do you do?

2) Inappropriate behavior in a professional setting - You meet a colleague 
at a conference/observing run/review panel/etc. He seems interested in 
your work and suggests that the two of you might collaborate on a project. 
He arranges to be alone with you on that pretense, and then he propositions 
you and gropes you. You're shocked. You have no interest in anything but 
a professional relationship. Now you can't concentrate on what you came 
to do because you're always looking out for him and trying to make sure 
you're never alone with him again. What do you do?

2. The Hidden Giants
From: Patricia Knezek 

Dr. Sethanne Howard has published a book called "The Hidden Giants," 
which contains short biographies of 400 women who have contributed to 
science and technology over the past 4000 years. It is available in 
paperback or a downloadable form from:


(search on "The Hidden Giants"). 

You might also want to check out Sethanne's interesting web site:


Thanks to Helmut Abt for pointing me to these invaluable resources!

3. Amy Barger Receives MGM Award
From: WIPHYS November 16, 2006

Amy Barger is the newest recipient of the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award for 
her pioneering efforts in using observational cosmology to provide new 
insight into the evolution of black holes, star formation rates and 
galaxies. She received her B.A. in Physics in 1993 from the University 
of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1997 from King's 
College and the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, 
where she was a Marshall Scholar. Read more at 


The MGM Award is intended to recognize and enhance outstanding 
achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career.

4. SLAC Education Officer Position
From: Michael Woods [mwoodsslac.stanford.edu]

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) is creating an Education 
Office and has a job opening for the position of Education Officer, 
which is posted at 


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