AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of September 3, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. The "Astronomy in Society" chapter of the Decadal Report

2. Essential Cosmology school

3. Young Leaders Program for Undergraduate Women in their Junior Year

4. Tenure-track Faculty Position in Astrophysics

5. National Research Council Canada (NRC) - Fellowship Postings


6. MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics

7. AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

8. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

9.  Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. The "Astronomy in Society" chapter of the Decadal Report 
From: Women in Astronomy Blog [

Posted by Hannah Jang-Condell

As virtually every US astronomer knows, the 2010 Decadal Report  was
released on Friday the 13th, August 2010. Personally, I was on vacation
at the time and missed the live webcast. What I have gathered is that if
you work in a field that was prioritized by the report and would benefit
by WFIRST, then you think the report is great. Otherwise, you think the
report sucks. 

Kidding aside, I'm not here to discuss the science prioritization. I'm
here to discuss the small part of the report relevant to the Women in
Astronomy blog, the chapter entitled "Astronomy in Society." 

After downloading all 81 MB of the report and giving it a cursory read,
I note that they say all the right things about bringing in more
minorities and women into astronomy. I'm glad that they also note that
retention of women in particular is tied into the narrow career
trajectory that astronomers are expected to follow. However, the thing
that I think is missing from the report is integrating these issues of
diversity in with the science priorities. 

There are definitely some subfields of astronomy that have fewer women
than others. Offhand, I would list cosmology, theory, and
instrumentation as those that have fewer women, and exoplanets and
extragalactic observation as those that are more enriched with women. So
if the top science priorities are high redshift astronomy, exoplanets,
and fundamental physics, I'd guess that exoplanets are enriched in women
and the other two depleted. 

What I would like to understand is how program prioritization based on
the Decadal Report's recommendations is going to affect the demographics
of the astronomy community. But given the way the panels were subdivided
into science topics separate from demographics, perhaps it was
inevitable that an integrated perspective would be lacking. What we can
do with this report now that the science priorities for the next decade
have been announced is to encourage young women to pursue growth fields
and hope that they succeed.  

[Interested in joining the conversation? Leave a comment on the blog at


2. Essential Cosmology school
From: Eric Linder [evlinder_at_lbl.gov]

We have now opened our website and application form for the Essential
Cosmology for the Next Generation (aka Cosmology on the Beach) winter
school/research conference. The website is

and the application deadline is October 15.  The conference itself is
January 10-14, 2011 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

We strongly encourage a diverse group of advanced graduate students and
postdocs to participate and would very much appreciate any help you could
give in communicating this opportunity widely.

3. Young Leaders Program for Undergraduate Women in their Junior Year
From: WIPHYS for August 20, 2010

The National Math + Science Young Leaders Program was launched in 2009
to provide leadership examples for young women at a key decision-making
point in their academic career. It is a prestigious, competitive program
that introduces girls who are college juniors majoring in STEM fields to
female executives at FORTUNE 500 companies. The businesswomen will
introduce students to the tangible impact of math and science in their
companies. This partnership provides role models for college students
majoring in innovative fields and heightens the visibility of the need
for more girls to specialize in math and science.  

Full information available at:


4. Tenure-track Faculty Position in Astrophysics
From: Deanna Ratnikova [ratnikova_at_aps.org]

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh - 
http://www.physicsandastronomy.pitt.edu/ - invites applications for a new
tenure-stream faculty member in astrophysics. The appointment, which is
subject to budgetary approval, will be at the assistant professor level and
would begin in the Fall Term of 2011 or thereafter. We are especially
interested in candidates with strong physics backgrounds who will complement
current research strengths in astrophysics, particularly in cosmology and
extragalactic astronomy. In addition to research accomplishments and future
promise, candidates must show potential for a high degree of teaching
effectiveness at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. 

Find more information at 


5. National Research Council Canada (NRC) - Fellowship Postings
From: Joy Jose [joy.jose_at_nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]

As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, the National
Research Council Canada (NRC) encourages candidates to self-identify as
members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities,
aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities when they apply on one
of our job offers. 

(1) NRC-HIA Covington Fellowship



The Covington fellowship is awarded to an outstanding recent doctoral
graduate in radio astrophysics to enable forefront, independent research
in the stimulating and collegial environment of NRC-HIA Dominion Radio
Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, BC, Canada. 

The award is for a maximum of three years; the initial appointment of
two years may be extended for one further year (subject to performance
and availability of funds). Fellows will receive support for
research-related travel and journal page charges, and have access to
professionally managed computer systems. 

NRC-HIA DRAO staff are currently engaged in a wide range of projects,
including a number of large radio surveys such as the Canadian Galactic
Plane Survey and the Planck Deep Field Survey using the telescopes at
DRAO, the GALFACTS survey at Arecibo, and the CORNISH survey at the VLA,
but are also major users of radio telescopes around the world, including
the VLA, VLBA, GBT, MERLIN, EVN, ATCA, LBA, Parkes and Arecibo. DRAO
also carries out world-leading research and development of
instrumentation and systems for radio telescopes, specifically the
Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA), the Australia Square Kilometre Array
Pathfinder (ASKAP), and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Fellows are
welcome to participate in any of these projects. 

Applicants must have acquired their PhD within the last five years or
expect to obtain the degree before starting the Fellowship in
2011. Application should be made by 1 November 2010. 

The Fellowship offers a highly competitive benefits and salary package.

If you have any questions about the Fellowship, the facilities and
research programs at DRAO that are not addressed in the remainder of
this web site, please contact us at covington_at_nrc.gc.ca. 

(2) NRC-HIA Plaskett Fellowship


The NRC-HIA invites applications for Plaskett Fellowships tenable at
DAO.  The awards are made to outstanding recent doctoral graduates in
astrophysics or a closely related discipline to conduct independent
research in a stimulating, collegial environment.  The award is for a
maximum of three years; the initial appointment of two years may be
extended for one further year (subject to performance and availability
of funds).  In addition to highly competitive benefits and salary,
Fellows receive support for observing and conference travel, page
charges, and access to professionally managed computers and the Canadian
Astronomy Data Centre, which is home to the Canadian Virtual Observatory
and data archives from, e.g., CFHT, CGPS, HST, Gemini, JCMT .

Staff expertise is in observational astrophysics, but we welcome
applications from theoreticians whose research requires close
interaction with observers. Fellows are eligible to apply for Canadian
time on ALMA, CFHT, Gemini & JCMT, to use the optical and radio
telescopes operated by NRC-HIA in Victoria and Penticton, and/or to
apply for time on other facilities with open proposal processes. NRC-HIA
is a leading developer of instrumentation for ground and space-based
telescopes (e.g., ALMA, CFHT, Gemini, JCMT, JWST, TMT), and Fellows are
welcome to participate in development or commissioning of new

Applicants must have acquired their Ph.D. within the last five years or
expect to obtain the degree before taking up the Fellowship in fall
2011.  Applications should be made by 1 November 2010, via the process
described at the URL provided.  

NRC is an equal opportunity employer.

6. MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics
From: WIPHYS for August 20, 2010

Nomination deadline is September 10, 2010

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011-2014 Pappalardo
Fellowships competition. Fellows are selected by means of an annual
competition for which candidates cannot apply directly, but must be
nominated by a faculty member or senior researcher within the
international community of physics, astronomy or related fields.   

Full information available at: 


7. AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
From: WIPHYS for August 20, 2010

Deadline is December 5, 2010

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science &
Technology Policy Fellowships provide scientists and engineers with a
unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to national and
international issues in the federal policy realm, while learning
first-hand about establishing and implementing policy. 

AAAS seeks candidates from a broad array of backgrounds and a diversity
of geographic, disciplinary, gender, and ethnic perspectives. Fellows
represent a spectrum of career stages, from recent PhD graduates to
faculty on sabbatical to retired scientists and engineers. Fellows also
come from a range of sectors, including academia, industry, non-profit
organizations, and government labs. 

Find out more about these fellowships and other opportunities at the APS
career center at http://careers.aps.org/

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9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

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