AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
Issue of August 14, 2009 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery 
 
This week's issues: 
 
1. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers? 
 
2. Do-It-Yourself Glass Ceiling 
 
3. In Memoriam: Phyllis Fleming, Women in Physics Pioneer 
 
4. Seeking nominations for Australian Women in Physics Lecure Tour 2010 
 
5. PRA.G.E.S. - PRActising Gender Equality in Science 
 
6. GBT Software Engineer, NRAO 
 
7. ALMA Software Engineer, NRAO 
 
8. Postdoctoral Position in Exoplanets, Wesleyan University 
 
9. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
 
10. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
 
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1. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers? 
From: Jill Tarter [tarterseti.org] 
 
[Last week, Margaret Burbidge was listed by Jill Tarter as a personal 
hero and inspiration. Here is more information about this pioneering 
woman astronomer -- eds.] 
 
Geoff Burbidge was kind enough to relate the history of how Margaret 
(and he) opened up the mountain tops for female observers.  I think 
this story should be shared and commemorated. 
 
Dear Jill and Ivan, 
 
I don't know what you are proposing for Margaret but here are the 
facts concerning her observing at Mt. Wilson.  We took a position in 
Pasadena in September 1955.  I was a Carnegie fellow - the first 
theoretician - and Margaret had an appointment at Caltech in Kellogg 
supported by the  Atomic Energy Commission.  When it came to observing 
time I was eligible for observing time at Mt. Wilson as a Carnegie 
fellow but Margaret was not.  Palomar was off limits to all junior 
staff at Mt. Wilson and all Carnegie fellows.  It is correct to say 
that Margaret got observing time because I applied for it and it was 
given to me and not to her even though it was an open secret that 
Margaret was the observer. 
 
Of course, we had to stay at the Agassiz cottage because women were 
allowed to stay at the monastery.  This worked alright until the 
Spring of 1956 when the weather was bad and I told Humason who was the 
Secretary of Mt. Wilson that we would have to go up to Mt. Wilson in 
the truck and not drive our own car up because of the weather 
conditions.  Up to that time we had always driven our own car up 
there.  Milton said that while I could go up in truck Margaret could 
not.  This led to a real row.  We told our friends at Caltech and 
particularly Willie Fowler about this discrimination and they got 
extremely angry.  Ira Bowen, the director of Mt. Wilson, supported 
Humason's decision.  At Caltech the president of Caltech was informed 
of this situation and he became so angry that he told us that he would 
call Bowen about this.  He did this in our presence together with 
Willy Fowler in his office at Caltech.  Bowen relented and allowed us 
both to travel up in the truck.   From that point on it became clear 
that Margaret had more rights on the mountain than any woman had.  But 
still they maintained that women were not allowed to observe up there 
(she was the sole exception).  This went on during our whole stay 
while I was a Carnegie fellow and she was basically at Caltech.  This 
was the year (1956) when our daughter Sarah was born and of course we 
published B^2FH. 
 
Best wishes, 
 
Geoff 
 
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2. Do-It-Yourself Glass Ceiling 
From: Female Science Professor Blog [ http://science-professor.blogspot.com/ ] 
 
[This week, Female Science Professor blogs about her thoughts on a 
study that concludes women create their own glass ceiling. The story 
on the study is at: 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32364451/ns/business-careers/  
We include some excerpts from Female Science Professor's blog on it 
here. For the full post, see 
http://science-professor.blogspot.com/  . 
-- eds.] 
 
"Women have imposed their own glass ceiling, and the question is why," 
said Scott Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of New 
Mexico Anderson School of Management who conducted the study. 
 
No, Scott, the answer is why you chose to interpret your results that way. 
 
Taylor says the findings could indicate why many women don't rise to 
head companies or why there is a wage disparity between men and women. 
 
That's a bit of a leap. All we have to do is ask and we can get paid 
more and promoted more? Problem solved? How cool is that? 
 
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3. In Memoriam: Phyllis Fleming, Women in Physics Pioneer 
From: WIPHYS August 10, 2009 
 
Phyllis J. Fleming, physics professor at Wellesley College and a 
pioneer among women in science, teaching and research, passed away 
June 23, 2009 at the age of 84.  See notices in the Boston Globe 
 
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2009/07/16/phyllis_fleming_84_pioneer_among_women_in_physics/?page=1 
 
and New York Times 
 http://www.legacy.com/NYTimes/DeathNotices.asp?page=lifestory&personid=129321900 
. 
 
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4.  Seeking nominations for Australian Women in Physics Lecure Tour 2010 
From: Rachel Ivie [rivieaip.org] 
 
The Australian Institute of Physics has a special program which funds a 
women to undertake a lecture tour in Australia to talk to schools, the 
general public and physicists. This year nominations have been opened 
internationally to women physicists to be nominated. Please see the 
web site for more information: 

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/wip/Main/Wiplecturer 
 
Dr Pina Dall'Armi-Stoks 
Australian Institute of Physics Women In Physics Group Chair 
Australian Institute of Physics - SA Branch Chair 
giuseppina.dallarmi-stoksdsto.defence.gov.au 
 
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5. PRA.G.E.S. - PRActising Gender Equality in Science 
From: Geoff Clayton [gclaytonfenway.phys.lsu.edu] 
 
Newsletter No. 3 is now available from PRA.G.E.S. The project 
"PRActising Gender Equality in Science" - PRA.G.E.S. consists of an 
action of coordination, lasting 21 months, aimed at comparing the 
various strategies implemented for promoting the presence of women in 
decision-making positions relating to scientific research in public 
institutions. It pursues the objective of collecting, classifying and 
evaluating good practices and positive actions (involving those where 
a positive contribution from men is recorded) that can be found in 
OECD countries, both at the national level and at the level of the 
individual institutions, and to make them available, in a usable form, 
to a number of selected targets, including both decision-makers and 
other relevant stakeholders. 
 
More information and a link to the newsletters is available at 

http://www.retepariopportunita.it/defaultdesktop.aspx?page=2749  
 
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6. GBT Software Engineer, NRAO 
From: Dee Boyd [dlboydnrao.edu] 
 
Software Engineer III 
 
The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the world's largest 
fully steerable telescope.  Working at wavelengths ranging from 100cm 
through 3mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research. 
Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and 
development projects which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of 
science and technology.  The Green Bank observatory combines an 
academic setting with a rural environment. 
 
The Software Development Division at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank 
Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, WV, is seeking a Software Engineer to 
provide support for the scientists who use the GBT. The successful 
candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and 
development in the fields of science, engineering, software 
development, and education.  Work will likely be directed initially 
toward improvements in the post-observing data analysis and reduction 
software, as well as developing data reduction and analysis software 
infrastructure for existing instrumentation. 
 
A minimum of a B.S. degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, or 
related field is required. Advanced education or other acquired 
background in radio astronomy, physics, astronomical data reduction, 
or spectroscopy is desirable, as is experience in IDL, object-oriented 
programming, and/or Python. Excellent verbal and written communication 
skills are required. 
 
Applicants can apply online at 
https://careers.nrao.edu .  Review of 
applications will begin immediately; however, applications will be 
accepted until the position has been filled.  NRAO is an Equal 
Opportunity Employer - D/V/M/F 
 
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7. ALMA Software Engineer, NRAO 
From: Dee Boyd [dlboydnrao.edu] 
 
SOFTWARE ENGINEER 
 
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is recruiting a Software 
Engineer II to assist the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) 
operations.  The position is located at the Observatory’s headquarters 
in Charlottesville, Virginia. 
 
The successful candidate will help evaluate, deploy, maintain, and 
write applications for the NAASC user portal and support the 
configuration and operation of the NRAO helpdesk. Will require 
constructively evaluating and leveraging existing NRAO web services 
and content, ALMA and NRAO prototypes, and new technologies.  Duties 
will also include architectural design, development, and maintenance 
activities, in addition to working with stakeholders and users to 
articulate and elucidate requirements, and produce designs that 
support an integrated deployment of web-based applications throughout 
NRAO. Will also design, recommend and deploy strategies to integrate 
multiple web-based systems to support the diverse needs of the North 
American ALMA user community through a User Portal that is consistent 
in look, feel and message with the NRAO and ALMA User Portals; 
configure and customize forms for the NRAO helpdesk; maintain helpdesk 
implementation; understand technologies associated with authentication 
and single sign-on; manage and extend content management systems in 
support of the NAASC web site; formulate and operate a configuration 
management scheme for applications linked to the User Portal; interact 
with users, as needed, to assure that user needs are met by the User 
Portal implementation and its underlying applications. 
 
Qualifications preferred include a Master’s Degree in Computer Science 
with four to seven years of related experience.   Experience in 
website testing and site architecture. Experience implementing and 
deploying helpdesk systems. Astronomical knowledge and/or interest. 
Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.  Skills and 
working knowledge in these or related areas: UNIX and Windows 
operating systems, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, Tomcat, the LAMP stack 
(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), plone, TWiki, Drupal, Joomla 
 
Interested applicants may apply online at 
https://careers.nrao.edu  and 
should include a resume and cover letter. Review of applicants will 
begin immediately; however, applications will be accepted until the 
position is filled.  NRAO is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. 
 
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8. Postdoctoral Position in Exoplanets, Wesleyan University 
From: Seth Redfield [sredfieldwesleyan.edu] 
 
Submit Resumes To: Seth Redfield 
 
URL1:  http://sredfield.web.wesleyan.edu  
(Seth Redfield homepage) 
URL2:  http://www.wesleyan.edu/astro/  
(Wesleyan Astronomy) 
URL3:  http://www.wesleyan.edu/planetary/  
(Wesleyan Planetary Science Group) 
 
Email Submission Address: sredfieldwesleyan.edu 
Email Inquiries: sredfieldwesleyan.edu 
 
The closing date for receipt of applications: 09/15/2009 
 
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in exoplanets at 
Wesleyan University. The successful candidate will work in 
collaboration with Dr. Seth Redfield primarily on high resolution 
optical spectra of transiting exoplanets obtained with the 9.2-m 
Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The project is focused on characterizing the 
atmospheres of extrasolar planets using this rich observational 
dataset. Other related research areas of mutual interest may include 
gas absorption in edge-on debris disks and the structure of the local 
interstellar medium, using ground-based, Hubble, and Spitzer 
observations. Wesleyan has a Planetary Science Group that includes 
faculty from several departments. The successful candidate will be 
encouraged to interact with other faculty and to carry out independent 
research with full access to observational facilities available to 
Wesleyan. Experience with data reduction and analysis, high-resolution 
spectroscopy, and observational studies of exoplanets will be helpful. 
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics at the start 
of the appointment. 
 
Wesleyan University is located between New York City and Boston, and 
has a small but active astronomy program, which emphasizes involvement 
of undergraduate and M.A. students in mainstream astronomical 
research. We are particularly interested in candidates who feel that 
they could both contribute to and flourish in this unique educational 
environment. The postdoc would have the opportunity, if desired, to 
take advantage of this setting to develop educational skills through 
mentoring students in research and possibly teaching. The position is 
available immediately, but the starting date is negotiable. Initial 
appointment would be for two years, although funding for at least one 
additional year is available. Applicants should send a cover letter, 
curriculum vitae, bibliography, statement of research experience and 
interests, and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to 
the address above by 15 September 2009 for full consideration. Late 
applications will be considered until the position is filled. 
 
Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action 
employer M/W/D/V and strongly encourages applications from women and 
minorities. 
 
Included Benefits: 
The salary is competitive, and health and retirement benefits and 
travel allowance are provided. Please see the Wesleyan Benefits 
website for more information: 

http://www.wesleyan.edu/hr/benefits/benefitslandingpage.html  
 
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10.  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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