AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
Issue of November 21, 2008 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Hannah Jang-Condell & Caroline Simpson 
 
This week's issues: 
 
1. The Larry Summers Controversy -- Re-visited 
 
2. Dual Careers, Children, and Life Stresses 
 
3. Women APS Prize Winners for 2009 
 
4. Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Yale 
 
5. Postdoctoral Position in Observational Extragalactic Astronomy 
 
6. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
 
7. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
 
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1. The Larry Summers Controversy -- Re-visited 
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelzmemphis.edu] 
 
What did you think when you learned that Larry Summers, former president of 
Harvard University, was being considered for Treasury Secretary? Political 
experts on the Sunday talk shows trivialized the backlash against him, 
saying that the opposition was simply because he had made a controversial 
speech that had not been 'politically correct' enough. 
 
In January 2005, soon after that speech, AASWOMEN began following this 
story. Since many of the links are still active, I thought it might be 
appropriate to remind ourselves what the controversy was all about. The 
University of Wisconsin-Madison's Women In Science & Engineering Leadership 
Institute (WISELI) put together a comprehensive web site. It contains a 
transcript of Summers' original remarks, his letter of apology, Virginia 
Valian's essay, and numerous editor responses: 
 
http://wiseli.engr.wisc.edu/news/Summers.htm 
 
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2. Dual Careers, Children, and Life Stresses 
From: Laura Peticolas [laurassl.berkeley.edu] 
 
I am a scientist and education specialist working at the same institution 
as my husband. We have a 2 year old and would ideally have another kid if 
possible. I am feeling completely overwhelmed with work, motherhood, and 
trying to maintain friendships and relationships with my family (all my 
parents and in-laws live in other states and my father has Alzheimer's). 
Currently I am working on a proposal with my husband and this has cause 
some minor issues in terms of both of us needing to be at meetings but 
when our child has gotten sick it means that one of us has to miss the 
meeting. One more piece of data - our house payments do not allow us to 
have a Nanny. And at this point, we cannot really move given the housing 
market drop in prices. 
 
Given this type of situation, I was wondering how others have made this 
kind of situation work. I can think of several possibilities but they 
basically end up with me working less. This is OK except that I can't 
figure out how at this stage in my career I would actually work less. And 
it goes back to me wondering how often women have to work less in order 
that their husband to succeed in his career (or vice-versa even). Also, 
I cannot imagine bringing another kid (adopted or natural) into our family 
at this point. Is it possible to have a dual career household with children 
in an expensive place to live? I'm starting to think our situation is not 
sustainable but would love some inspiration or simply some other women's 
stories. 
 
Thanks for any thoughts you have! 
 
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3. Women APS Prize Winners for 2009 
From: WIPHYS November 20, 2008 
 
Please congratulate the women APS prizewinners for 2009. Saskia 
Mioduszewski of Texas A&M's Cyclotron Institute won the Maria Goeppert 
Mayer Award. Patricia Lewis of the James Martin Center for Non Proliferation 
Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Affairs won the 2009 
Joseph A. Burton Forum Award. Their citations and information about the 
prizes/awards program can be found at 
 
http://www.aps.org/programs/honors/recipients.cfm?year=3D2009 
 
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4. Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Yale 
From: WIPHYS November 14, 2008 
 
Yale University will be hosting its second Conference for Undergraduate 
Women in Physics on January 16-18, 2009 in conjunction with regional 
conferences and the University of Southern California and the University of 
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Conference highlights will include research 
talks by prominent women physicists from across the country, a career panel, 
and lab tours. Undergraduate participants will have the opportunity to present 
their own research in a 10-minute talk or during a poster session. 
 
Our conference philosophy is to bring undergraduate physicists together 
with peers and mentors in order to discuss science and life issues. In 
addition, we hope to inspire continued interest in physics for all 
participants, and to present different ways to pursue this interest in the 
future. 
 
Conference registration and food will be covered for all participants. We 
encourage participants to first seek funding for travel and lodging from 
their home institutions, but when this is not available we will work to find 
funding. The deadline for registration is November 30. More information, a 
tentative schedule, and registration are available online at 
 
http://www.yale.edu/spsyale/cuwpy/ 
 
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5. Postdoctoral Position in Observational Extragalactic Astronomy 
From: Pauline Barmby [pbarmbyuwo.ca] 
 
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in observational 
extragalactic astronomy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The 
University of Western Ontario. The successful candidate will pursue projects 
with Dr. Pauline Barmby involving resolved stellar populations and star 
formation in nearby galaxies as well as independent research. Funds will be 
available for research support and travel. Candidates should have a PhD in 
astronomy, astrophysics, or physics; experience with extragalactic infrared 
and/or optical observations is strongly preferred. 
 
The astronomy group at Western has recently expanded and includes members 
with interests in planetary science, star formation, hot stars, nearby 
galaxies, and AGN. The successful candidate will be encouraged to interact 
with other faculty and to take an active role in mentoring our growing group 
of graduate students. Affiliation with a Canadian university allows 
researchers to apply for Canadian time on telescopes including CFHT, Gemini, 
JCMT, and the E-VLA. 
 
The initial appointment is for one year but may be extended for an 
additional year subject to satisfactory performance and the availability 
of funds. The starting date of the position is negotiable but should be no 
later than September 2009. To apply, please send a cover letter, 
CV with publication list, and contact information for three references to 
Dr. Pauline Barmby (pbarmbyuwo.ca), by January 15, 2009. The University of Western 
Ontario is committed to employment equity. 
 
Pauline Barmby 
Department of Physics & Astronomy 
University of Western Ontario 
1151 Richmond St., 
London, ON N6A 3K7 
Voice: (519) 661-2111 x 81557 
Fax: (519) 661-2033 
Email: pbarmbyuwo.ca 
 
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7. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
 
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at 
 
http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html 
 
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered. 
 
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