AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
Issue of May 11, 2007 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Geoffrey Clayton, & Hannah Jang-Condell 
 
This week's issues: 
 
1. Education and Public Outreach Specialist Positions 
 
2. Parental Leave for Graduate Students 
 
3. Postdoc positions in Plasma/Space Physics 
 
4. How women are ruining the BBC 
 
5. Biased NY TImes Science Article 
 
6. Tenure track position at Tennessee State University in Nashville 
 
7. How to submit, subscribe, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
 
[Eds. note: Please be patient as the AAS switches servers and AASWOMEN 
experiences some adjustment glitches.] 
 
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1. Education and Public Outreach Specialist Positions 
From: Lynn Cominsky (lynncuniverse.sonoma.edu) 
 
Positions are available in the Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) group at 
Sonoma State University, under the program direction of Professor Lynn 
Cominsky. The group supports E/PO for NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space 
Telescope (GLAST), Swift and XMM-Newton missions and the upcoming GLAST 
launch in late 2007. 
 
Two positions at different levels are available  - please see detailed 
position descriptions and information about the application process at: 
http://www.sonoma.edu/hs/jobs/jobopps.shtml  Job #'s 2830 & 2832. Initial 
review of applications for the E/PO specialist position will begin May 14; 
review for the Educator Ambassador specialist  will begin June 1. E/PO 
Specialist positions require a Bachelors Degree in related field (astronomy, 
astrophysics, physics), knowledge of astronomy plus science education and 
2 years directly related experience. Pre-college teaching experience is 
desired, plus demonstrated software fluency and web-programming skills. 
 
The Educator Ambassador specialist  position requires a Masters Degree in 
related field (astronomy, astrophysics, physics) plus two years directly 
related experience  working with teachers and/or informal educators. PhD 
in related field and knowledge of high-energy astrophysics is highly 
desirable. The successful candidate will coordinate NASA's Astrophysics 
Educator Ambassadors, a cohort of master educators who help the SSU E/PO 
group develop, test and disseminate NASA materials through teacher 
workshops. Both positions require the ability to work effectively in a 
fast-paced, rapidly changing, educational environment with teachers, 
students and informal educators, excellent written and oral communication 
skills and the ability to use a keyboard up to six hours per day and travel 
by automobile and airplane. 
 
For additional information, please contact Prof. Cominsky at 
lynncuniverse.sonoma.edu 
and check out the SSU E/PO website at http://epo.sonoma.edu 
 
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2. Parental Leave for Graduate Students 
From: Meg Urry (meg.urryyale.edu) 
 
At the AAS meeting last January, Hannah Jang-Condell gave a very interesting 
presentation on [the general lack of] parental leave policies for graduate 
students and postdocs. Since then, several universities have issued new 
policies for graduate students in particular, including Yale (see 
www.yale.edu/opa/yb&c/story2.html). I believe that MIT and Princeton have 
similar policies. At least one of the prize fellowships in astronomy is 
considering creating a new policy for parental leave. So there is real 
forward motion on this. A public study comparing the available policies 
might be a very useful way to help more institutions implement these kinds 
of policies. 
 
 
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3. Postdoc positions in Plasma/Space Physics 
From: Ashild Fredriksen (Ashild.Fredriksenphys.uit.no) 
 
Two postdoctoral positions in space - /plasma physics are available at the 
Department of Physics and Technology, The Faculty of Science at the 
University of Tromso 
  
Job description can be found at: 
http://www.uit.no/persok/betenkninger/07-1746.doc 
  
Application deadline: 31.05.07 
The position's reference no. 07-1746 must be quoted in your application. 
  
The successful candidates will be working with laboratory experiments 
and/or modelling of ion cyclotron heating in plasmas with flow. The 
principle objective of the project is to combine aspects of laboratory and 
space plasma physics to investigate the role of ion cyclotron resonances 
in the solar wind and other space plasmas. We seek in particular candidates 
that have experience in laboratory and/or space plasmas, experimental and/or 
modelling. 
  
The post doctoral fellowships are three year positions. A doctoral degree 
is necessary. 
  
The positions are paid according to the Norwegian State Salary Scale, 
Code 1352. Two percent of the salary is withheld for the mandatory 
contribution to the Norwegian State Pension Fund. 
  
Further information can be obtained from: 
Prof. Ashild Fredriksen 
(ashild.fredriksenphys.uit.no),  
Prof. Ruth Esser (ruth.esserphys.uit.no), 
or Prof. Asgeir Brekke (asgeir.brekkephys.uit.no) 
  
General information: There is a statutory pension contribution from the 
gross salary. Questions concerning the organisation of the working 
environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, 
health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. 
may be directed to the telephone reference in the advertisement. According 
to personnel policy objectives that the staff shall reflect the composition 
of the population in general, both with respect to gender and cultural 
multiplicity, women and persons with a minority ethnic background in 
particular are encouraged to apply. 
  
The application must be submitted electronically using the application form 
available at:   jobbnorge.no 
  
All documentation that is to be evaluated, must be certified and translated 
into English or a Scandinavian language. 
  
In addition, the application including curriculum vitae, certified copies 
of certificates and testimonials, and the list of scientific papers must 
be submitted in five copies, within the application deadline, to: 
University of Troms NO-9037 Troms, Norway 
 
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4. How women are ruining the BBC 
From: Andrea Schweitzer (schweitzfrii.com) 
 
Patrick Moore is a British amateur astronomer who has been hosting the "Sky 
At Night" television program for 50 years.  He has also written numerous 
books on astronomy.  In the article cited below 
( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6634255.stm ) 
Moore blames women for deterioration of British television.  He is quoted 
as saying, "The trouble is the BBC now is run by women and it shows soap o
peras, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn't have had that in 
the golden days," and "I would like to see two independent wavelengths - one 
controlled by women, and one for us, controlled by men." 
---------- 
In a fun twist of irony, the TV shows that Sir Patrick Moore used to like 
but now he faults for becoming "PC - making women commanders, that kind of 
thing" were created only because of women's leadership, and one began 
originally with a female character as second-in-command. 
 
Sir Patrick Moore said to the BBC, "I used to watch Doctor Who and Star 
Trek, but they went PC - making women commanders, that kind of thing. I 
stopped watching." 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6634255.stm 
Sir Patrick obviously did not realize that he was being historically 
incorrect while also being politically incorrect. 
 
Both of the TV shows he mentioned came about in the early 1960's because 
of determined female producers and female studio executives who were willing 
to take risks that the men weren't.  Fans should appreciate the foresight 
and talents of Verity Lambert (for Doctor Who) and Lucille Ball (for Star 
Trek). 
 
In the pilot episode of Star Trek, the second-in-command was a capable 
woman character, Majel Barrett, who was demoted to become Nurse Chapel 
in the series (she was also Gene Roddenberry's wife).  They wanted to 
show a woman in a leadership role, but that was considered too unrealistic 
for the times. 
 
"Star Trek was rejected by MGM, Warner Brothers, and Columbia as being too 
expensive and unconventional.  In 1962, Lucille Ball and Desilu Studios 
hired Gene Roddenberry as executive producer for a starting fee of 
$1,250 per episode plus 37.5% of the profits.  Star Trek became one 
of television's greatest successes, and Desilu and Roddenberry earned 
millions of dollars." 
-- from "Money Secrets of the Rich and Famous" by Michael Reynard, 1999 
 
"[Lucille Ball's] work running a studio ... brought us such major television 
series as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and STAR TREK, Ball's true legacy can be 
found in her understanding of the possibilities of television before it 
understood itself." 
-- PBS 
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/ball_l.html 
 
"Verity Lambert OBE is a British television and film producer. She is best 
known as the founding producer of the science-fiction series Doctor Who, 
a programme which has become a part of British popular culture. Lambert 
was a pioneer woman in British television; when she was appointed to Doctor 
Who in 1963, she was the youngest and only female drama producer working 
at the BBC." 
-- Wikipedia 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verity_Lambert 
(While Wikipedia should be fact-checked, this info appears to be correct, 
based on my preliminary research and on other websites such as 
http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/550923/index.html ) 
---------- 
How women are ruining the BBC, by Sir Patrick Moore 
Last updated at 11:00am on 8th May 2007 
 
The BBC has been ruined by women producing 'terrible programmes', according 
to Sir Patrick Moore. 
 
The astronomer said the corporation needed to revert to the 'golden days' 
when the news was presented by men with impeccable English. 
 
Sir Patrick, 84, made the comments in an interview with the Radio Times 
to celebrate 50 years presenting The Sky At Night. 
 
He was asked whether television had got better or worse during his career. 
He replied 'much worse' and added: 'The trouble is that the BBC is now run 
by women and it shows - soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. 
 
'You wouldn't have had that in the golden days.' Asked about female 
newsreaders, he said: 'There was one day (in 2005) when BBC News went 
on strike. 
 
'Then we had the headlines read by a man, talking the Queen's English, 
reading the news impeccably. Oh, for the good old days.' 
 
He also compared EastEnders to diarrhoea, saying: 'I suppose it's true 
to life. But so is diarrhoea - and I don't want to see that on television.' 
 
Such is Sir Patrick's derision of women, he wants to create a 
gender-segregated corporation. 
 
'I would like to see two independent wavelengths - one controlled by 
women, and one for us, controlled by men.' 
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=453392&in_page_id=1773 
 
 
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5. Biased NY TImes Article 
From:  Yilen Gomez Maqueo Chew (yilen.gomezVanderbilt.Edu) 
 
There was an article in the NY Times this weekend (reprinted below) about 
RHIC, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, at Brookhaven National Lab.  
At the top it shows a picture in one of the labs where both men and women are 
present.  Regardless of the analogy to Star Trek throughout the article, 
women are not even mentioned except in the very end when they talk about 
helping the professors' daughters with their science homework. 
 
I think people should email the author, Corey Kilgannon, and let him know 
how biased is his article against women in science.  The email at the end 
of the article is: theislandnytimes.com. 
 
----------------------------------- 
May 6, 2007 
The Island 
Getting the Most Bang Out of Quarks and Gluons 
By COREY KILGANNON 
 
THERE'S nothing unusual about grown men gathering around wide-screen TVs 
to watch collisions, whether between players in cleats or on skates or 
between cars on a racetrack. 
 
But a group of men viewing wide-screen monitors in a control room at 
Brookhaven National Laboratory the other day were rooting for very different 
collisions, ones made by the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or 
RHIC (pronounced rick). 
 
These images showed up spectacularly on screens like fireworks, depicting 
the aftermath of atomic collisions. The subatomic particles shooting 
out left trails of different colors depending on their speed. One of 
the six researchers in the control room, Jim Sowinski, 52, a physicist 
from Indiana University, compared the analysis of the collisions with 
police investigation and reconstruction of traffic accidents. 
 
"The difference is, we're putting all the cars in the same lane running 
straight at each other," he said. "Then we watch the results. Some 
are fender benders, and some are head-ons." 
 
Thomas A. Trainor, 62, a physics professor from the University of 
Washington, who was at the control panel, invoked another metaphor, 
likening the control room to the bridge of the Enterprise in "Star Trek." 
 
"That's Captain Kirk over there," said Dr. Trainor, pointing to the 
shift leader, a spry 81-year-old physics professor from U.C.L.A., 
George Igo. He was accumulating collision data from the experimental 
run and amassing an impressive pile of pistachio shells on his desk. 
"I'm just the bookkeeper," Dr. Igo said. 
 
Dr. Trainor continued, "You could say I'm Sulu, at the controls, but 
when the captain tells me, 'I want things run this way,' I do it." 
 
"He's Chekov," Dr. Trainor said, pointing to Jan Kapitan, 26, a doctoral 
student in nuclear physics from the Czech Republic. Then he turned to a 
tall man monitoring the alarm systems, Peter Filip, who works for a 
research group from Moscow. 
 
"He's Scotty," Dr. Trainor said, "because if something goes wrong, he has 
to respond." 
 
It's spring, which means another season of smashing atoms in the pine 
barrens. Every spring, thousands of scientists, engineers and researchers 
worldwide, eager to investigate the early universe, come to this collider 
just off the William Floyd Parkway, which lab officials have long called 
the only manmade structure on Long Island visible from outer space. 
 
Since its first official runs in 2000, the $1 billion RHIC, which is the 
most powerful heavy-ion collider in the world, has been at the forefront 
of competitive physics research. But things are especially urgent this year, 
since a powerful particle accelerator in Geneva is set to open as a research 
rival. Lab officials feared that federal financing cuts and delays might 
have prevented RHIC from running this year. But in March, $108.6 million 
came through, enough for a shorter than usual 21-week run. 
 
With huge supermagnets, RHIC accelerates beams of gold nuclei at almost 
the speed of light in opposite directions through two rings, each 2.4 miles 
around. As the nuclei collide, quarks and gluons and other basic constituents 
of matter are briefly liberated, and a shower of subatomic particles 
provides clues to their identities and energies. 
 
These collisions approximate the first few milliseconds after what 
scientists postulate was the Big Bang creation of the universe 14 billion 
years ago. They create a fireball up to 10,000 times as hot as the sun, 
making a small part of Upton briefly the hottest spot in the universe. 
Researchers are interested in the quark-gluon plasma made up of loosened 
particles, the hottest and densest matter there is. 
 
A chamber called the STAR detector photographs and records the collision. 
Researchers spend months here shut out from daylight, searching for the 
origin of the universe by peering into the detector's time projection 
chamber. It is a trip back to the beginning of time through quantum 
chromodynamics and a rarefied bubble of highly theoretical research 
that seems as alternate a reality as science fiction, which may help 
explain Dr. Trainor's affinity for an old TV series. 
 
"The 'Star Trek' metaphor is very appropriate," Dr. Trainor said. "Did 
you know the idea for the show was actually based on the voyages of 
Captain Cook? It is evocative of what we do here. The detector is not 
actually moving, but this is a voyage." 
 
Onboard Dr. Trainor's Brookhaven Enterprise, the role of Spock falls 
to Dr. Sowinski, who coordinates the research teams. 
 
"The experimental run is like a Ouija board, with many hands on the 
Ouija," Dr. Sowinski said. He and William Christie, a Brookhaven 
staff scientist and operations coordinator for the STAR detector, say 
that working in a lab where six Nobel Prizes have been won and the origin 
of mass and matter is pondered does not always translate to real-world 
situations, like tutoring their daughters, both of whom are struggling 
with high school physics. 
 
"When I try to help my daughter, she complains, 'But the teacher doesn't 
do it that way,'" Dr. Christie said. 
 
Dr. Sowinski laughed and said, "My daughter says: 'Oh forget it. 
I'll just ask one of my friends.'" 
 
E-mail: theislandnytimes.com. 
 
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company 
 
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6. Tenure track position at Tennessee State University in Nashville 
From: Geoffrey Burks (burkscoe.tsuniv.edu) 
 
We are searching for an astronomer at Tennessee State University in Nashville. 
We are searching for a tenure track/tenured astronomer for our physics 
program, preferably for someone qualified to teach BOTH Physics and 
Astronomy. 
 
TSU is a Historically Black University and 2/3 of our students are women. 
We hope to increase the diversity level of our Astronomy faculty. Applications 
from minorities and/or women are thus desirable. With our student body you 
can make history by increasing the minority representation in astronomy. 
Our present complement is one Astronomy person in the department and 3 full 
time astronomy researchers at the Center of Excellence for Information 
Systems. The Nashville area contains a lively community of astronomers at 
several of its colleges and universities. 
 
TSU has a large collection of automated photometric telescopes and a 
2-meter telescope with an echelle spectrograph. More information on these 
instruments is available at http://schwab.tsuniv.edu/ . We especially want 
to encourage undergraduate research and hope to find someone who can make 
use of these facilities in the context of undergraduate teaching. Make 
history, come to TSU! 
 
The position is listed at www.tnstate.edu under employment opportunities. 
It is position number 006380 in the Department of Physics and Math. 
Applications must be submitted online by May 30. 
 
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