AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
Issue of June 8, 2007 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Geoffrey Clayton, & Hannah Jang-Condell 
 
This week's issues: 
 
1. Even More Moore 
 
2. Support Astronomer W. M. Keck Observatory 
 
3. Even more on the Mercury 13 
 
4. June 2007 issue of STATUS 
 
5. Wikipedia Astronomers 
 
6. New Biography of Maria Mitchell 
 
7. Report on Women in Leadership  
 
8. Nature Physics Editorial on Women in Physics 
 
9. How to submit, subscribe, or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
 
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1. Even More Moore 
From: Sethanne Howard (sethannehmsn.com) 
 
For many years I have used Patrick Moore's book "Men of the Stars" to throw 
on the floor at the beginning of my talk on over 4,000 years of women in 
science.  The book is rather battered by now, but I will not buy another 
one.  It makes the point rather nicely and gets a laugh too. 
 
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2. Support Astronomer W. M. Keck Observatory 
From: kathy Muller (kmullerkeck.hawaii.edu) 
 
The W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO), which operates the world's two largest 
optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea, seeks a Support 
Astronomer.  The Observatory supports a very active, popular. and exciting 
program in Adaptive Optics (AO), including a laser guide star (LGS) facility, 
and is interested in expanding its support for this program. We also have 
eight facility instruments in regular use: DEIMOS, a wide-field optical 
multislit imager and spectrograph; ESI, an optical, moderate resolution 
spectrograph with imaging capability; HIRES, a high-resolution optical 
spectrograph with UV sensitivity and a new 3-CCD detector mosaic; LRIS, a 
low-resolution optical multislit spectrograph and imager with UV and 
polarimetry capabilities; NIRC, a near-infrared camera with speckle imaging 
capability; NIRC-2, a near-infrared camera and spectrograph used with 
natural guide star (NGS-) and LGS-AO; NIRSPEC, a high-resolution 
near-infrared spectrograph with lowresolution mode; and OSIRIS, a newly 
commissioned integral field unit spectrograph that works with the NGS- and 
LGS-AO systems. A number of other instruments are in the design or 
development phases for future delivery to the Observatory. 
The Support Astronomers are responsible for the support of visiting 
astronomers using the instruments; the maintenance, calibration, and 
improvement of the instruments; and participation on instrument building 
teams during development and commissioning of future instruments. The 
Support Astronomers work primarily at WMKO headquarters in Waimea, with 
occasional work at the Mauna Kea summit as required. The successful 
applicant is expected to spend roughly 80% of their time in this role. 
Required minimum qualifications are a Ph.D. in astronomy or physics and 
at least two years of experience with astronomical instrumentation at a 
major research observatory. The Ph.D. must be held at the time of 
appointment. Familiarity with all aspects of modern astronomical instruments, 
observing techniques, and data reduction, particularly in AO or other 
high angular resolution astronomy, are all extremely relevant. 
Candidates must be capable of working effectively with visiting observers and 
coordinating multi-disciplinary instrument commissioning and maintenance 
teams. 
This is a regular position with a competitive, comprehensive benefits 
package including relocation assistance and private school (K-12) tuition 
support for dependent children. Salary is dependent upon qualifications 
and experience. A fraction of the incumbent's time may be designated for 
personal research. In particular, the Support Astronomers are encouraged 
to take part in a regular program of collaborative research projects with 
the Observatory Director and each other, making use of the unique 
facilities available at WMKO. 
The application deadline is October 1, 2007. Employment is conditional 
on successful completion of drug tests and a high altitude physical. Mail 
or fax resumes, references, and salary history to: Support Astronomer, 
WMKO, 65-1120 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743; Fax (808) 885-4464 
or employmentkeck.hawaii.edu. Additional information about WMKO may be found on our 
web site at www.keckobservatory.org. EEO/M/F/D/V 
 
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3. Even more on the Mercury 13 
From: Fran Bagenal (bagenallasp.colorado.edu) 
 
I agree that the story of the Mercury 13 women is often romanticized and 
taken out of the political and sociological context of the times (I believe 
the 50s and early 60s were a deep, deep low point for women). But Harley 
Thronson's recommendation from Space Review seems just as  "nuanced" (as 
he puts it) in the other direction. I encourage people to read for 
themselves about the history of space exploration and the role of women - 
I wrote a piece for STATUS called "Apollo Fever" recommending a range of 
books that might add up to a more balanced view (January 2006 STATUS 
http://www.aas.org/cswa/STATUS.html) 
 
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4. June 2007 issue of STATUS 
From: Fran Bagenal (bagenallasp.colorado.edu) 
 
The June 2007 issue of STATUS is available (http://www.aas.org/cswa/STATUS.html). 
Features of the latest issue include: 
- Women in Canadian Astronomy: 15 Years of Hard Data 
- Center for Astrophysics Gender Equity Report 
- Every Other Thursday 
- CSWP Site Visit Program 
- Review of Two Paths to Heaven's Gate 
- Dorrit Hoffleit 
 
Recommendations for future issues are welcomed. A "celebration" of 
Patrick Moore, perhaps?! 
 
Fran Bagenal 
Editor of STATUS 
 
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5. Wikipedia Astronomers 
From:  Luisa Rebull (rebullipac.caltech.edu) 
 
I recently stumbled across this listing in Wikipedia: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_astronomers 
It's kind of a weird collection of people on this list. 
This seems to be a different listing than this: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_astronomers 
which seems to be a more general listing. It's not clear to me if many 
people listed on the former list are also listed on the latter. 
I haven't checked for that, nor have I counted the fraction of women 
on either list. 
 
You might wish to check this out, see if you have an entry (you might be 
surprised), correct your entry if you have one, or create your own entry 
(or a colleagues)! 
 
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6. New Biography of Maria Mitchell 
From: WIPHYS 
 
AMONG THE STARS : THE LIFE OF MARIA MITCHELL 
By Margaret Moore Booker 
2007 Hardcover 
 
Few avenues of high achievement were open to American women in the 
mid-nineteenth Century, but a young librarian on Nantucket Island, off 
the coast of Cape Cod, sent a startling signal through the male-dominated 
world of science when she emerged as a world-class astronomer. Maria 
Mitchell, from the roof of the family's home overlooking Main Street, 
peering into the heavens with a hand-me-down telescope, showed that she 
could not only discover a comet, but compute its orbit and exchange 
scientific observations with the world's leading astronomers. She became 
an admired figure on the international scene, then a much-beloved professor 
at Vassar College, and finally a leader in the emerging women's rights 
movement. 
 
In her mind, these achievements seemed all part of a logical whole: the 
education and expansion of women's minds far beyond the stereotypes of 
the time, and the projection of this new power into modern society. Not 
a radical, not an establishment figure, but a unique and innovative force 
in her time Mitchell is meticulously and expertly portrayed by Margaret 
Booker in this first comprehensive biography. 
 
http://www.eganmaritime.org/MariaMitchell.html 
 
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7. Report on Women in Leadership  
From: WIPHYS 
 
The Double-Bind Dilemma for Woman in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed 
if You Don't 
 
This is part of the Catalyst series examining barriers to women's 
advancement. In this report, we analyze responses to the open-ended 
questions from two previous Catalyst studies, Women "Take Care," Men 
"Take Charge:" Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed and Different 
Cultures, Similar Perceptions: Stereotyping of Western European Business 
Leaders. These new analyses allow us to explore the contours of the 
misleading beliefs documented in the previous reports; they also provide e
xamples and anecdotes from respondents' experiences. We supplement these 
data with in-depth interviews of 13 women working at a large 
U.S.-headquartered global company, all of whom held leadership positions 
at the time of the interviews. 
 
http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/titles/title.php?page=lead_doublebind_07 
 
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8. Nature Physics editorial on Women in Physics 
From: Meg Urry (meg.urryyale.edu) 
 
I attach a Nature editorial about the recent meeting on Women in Physics (
May 6-8, 2007, in College Park, Maryland). Please note the reference to 
the Pasadena Recommendations on Gender Equity in Astronomy -  
congratulations to the CSWA for this recognition of leadership! 
 
 
Meg is referring to the editorial in the June 6, 2007 issue of Nature 
Physics (3, 363). Here is an excerpt: 
 
Last month, a workshop entitled Gender Equity: Strengthening the Physics 
Enterprise in Universities and National Laboratories took place at the 
headquarters of the American Physical Society in Maryland, with the 
stated aim of facilitating a doubling of the number of women in physics 
over the next 15 years. The under-representation of women in research 
careers in physics is proving a tough nut to crack. Why would this workshop, 
ahead of many other well-meaning efforts, come any closer to a solution? 
What was remarkable about the Maryland workshop was its participants: 
chairs from 50 major physics departments across the USA, 14 division 
directors of national laboratories units, and leaders from the National 
Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. After all, if there is 
to be change, it has to come from the top. 
 
In the list of preliminary recommendations from the workshop, many begin 
with the words "leaders should". Leaders should "set a code of conduct", 
"make expectations clear", "be aware of subtle biases" and so on. Many of 
these recommendations are easily recognizable as good management practice. 
A good manager creates the appropriate atmosphere in which all team 
members can thrive, each being encouraged to play to their strengths, and, 
through their collective effort, carry the interests of the team forwards. 
That picture doesn't necessarily describe the average physics research 
group - although it probably should. 
 
Times are changing. Team work and collaboration are increasingly prevalent 
in research,and demand wider skills of even the most brilliant physicists. 
This move away from the more traditional, competitive scientific 
culture" -- as recognized in The Pasadena Recommendations on Gender 
Equality in Astronomy of 2003 -- is likely to benefit women in research, 
as is increased emphasis on effective mentoring.  
 
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