AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of Decemeber 17, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Follow-up: Caroline Herschel at the Smithsonian

2.  Working Girls: Abstracts of Gender Study Articles

3. The Elsevier Program for cultivating women scientists

4. Professional Skills Development Workshop - Deadline extended

5. Improve Your Skills as a Research Mentor - Workshop at APS March

6. Funding for Outreach Activities: Apply by January 10, 2011

7. Vassar Job Posting: Sabbatical Replacement


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

9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

1. Follow-up: Caroline Herschel at the Smithsonian
From: Andrea Dupree [adupree_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

When the contribution about Caroline Herschel appeared, I emailed
David DeVorkin, a Curator at the National Air and Space Museum
(another part of the Smithsonian Institution to which we at CfA
belong), and a member of the AAS.  He replied with the following
message and gave me permission to post it in the CSWA Newsletter.

Andrea Dupree

From David DeVorkin:

History is about context.  If one were to ask Caroline how she would
have described herself, I believe she may well have said "essential
assistant" given the gender relations of that day and her personal
view of her relationship to her brother.  In fact there is a long
quote in the label taken from Margaret Herschel's writings that uses
the term "assistant" explicitly.

Moreover there are at least 5 women depicted in the gallery.  We give
tours that carry the visitor from Caroline Herschel, through Henrietta
Swan Leavitt, to Vera Rubin and Margaret Geller, and finally to
Catherine Pilachowski to show how the roles of women have changed in
astronomy and that today we can finally celebrate women as
astronomers.  It is just for that fact that the sequence we portray
needs to be appreciated in full: in past time women were denied
parity, and that parity was won in long painful stages to the point
where it may be in place now, but needs constant and informed
vigilance to retain.

We cannot erase history to suit the passions of the present. People
try to erase history all the time for all different reasons, and it's
our job to be as helpful as possible, presenting the past as it was,
to the best of our ability, not as what we want it to be.   Only in
this way will we remain responsible to ourselves, and our mission to
foster an informed public.

David H. DeVorkin - Senior Curator
Division of Space History
National Air and Space Museum

[This also appears on the Women in Astronomy blog at
womeninastronomy.blogspot.com so readers can comment on this
article. -- eds.]
2. Working Girls: Abstracts of Gender Study Articles
From: Claire Cramer [ccramer108_at_gmail.com]

Claire pointed us at this list of abstracts from Findings: A Daily
Roundup of Academic Studies: Serious, Sublime, Surreal, and Otherwise,
complied by Kevin Lewis and posted at the National Affairs website.

Kevin Lewis is a columnist for the Ideas section of the Boston
Globe. He has degrees in physics and political science from MIT, has
studied and taught organizational behavior at UC Berkeley and Duke,
and has worked in high-tech business and finance.

The abstracts, which cover a variety of areas, not just science, can
be found at

Titles include:
"Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap"
"New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis"
3. The Elsevier Program for cultivating women scientists
From: Waves and Packets (NBSP), Dec. 15, 2010

Research professionals are in great demand in industry and
academia. But while the proportion of women in the Science, Technology
and Medical (STM) fields has grown steadily, women still hold no more
than 15% of the full professorships in both the US and Europe - and
the participation of women scholars as authors and on editorial boards
reflects a similar imbalance. Where does this across-the-board gender
gap come from? How do different family roles and responsibilities
factor in? What are different players in the STM community doing to
address the gap?

During the Cultivating Women Scientists in the Next Generation webinar
on September 21st we discussed three burning questions with David
Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation Janet Bandows
Koster, Executive Director of the Association for Women in Science
(AWIS) and Donna Dean, past president of AWIS and senior scientific
advisor and advocate for underrepresented groups in science and

The questions:

  1. What is the greatest obstacle to career development for dual
     career couples?
  2. What role can editors play to close the gender gap?
  3. What can your journal proactively do to support the careers of
     women in research and academia?

Listen to the webinar at

4. Professional Skills Development Workshop - Deadline extended
From: WIPHYS, December 15, 2010

The deadline for the Professional Skills Development Workshop for
Women Physicists
at the APS March Meeting has been extended to January 10, 2011. This
is also the deadline for the April Meeting workshop. (Please note that
funding has been confirmed for the March Meeting workshop.)

5. Improve Your Skills as a Research Mentor - Workshop at APS March
From: WIPHYS, December 15, 2010

How do you effectively mentor individuals at different stages of their
careers? Are you ready to address the NSF's new requirement about
mentoring post docs in your next proposal? Consider registering for a
free workshop on mentoring at the APS March Meeting on Sunday, March
20, 1:30-5:30pm. Information at
6. Funding for Outreach Activities: Apply by January 10, 2011
From: WIPHYS, December 15, 2010

Have an idea for an outreach program? Need funding to start one? Then
apply for an APS outreach grant. Grants will be awarded in amounts up
to $10,000 for innovative and exciting outreach programs. Apply at

7. Vassar Job Posting - Sabbatical Replacement
From: Pat Stickle [pastickle_at_vassar.edu]

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vassar College invites
applications for a one-semester or one-year position as visiting or
adjunct assistant professor in astronomy as a sabbatical replacement
beginning in September 2011.

Vassar College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and
is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.
Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are
especially encouraged.

Applicants should have a minimum of a master's degree in astronomy;
PhD preferred. Preference will be given to those with teaching
experience. The successful candidate is expected to teach 3 astronomy
courses in the fall, spanning all levels of the curriculum and (if a
full-year position) 2 physics courses in the spring, one at the
introductory and one at the intermediate level. The department
currently consists of five physicists and two astronomers; their
research specialties are detailed on the department homepage

Candidates should submit (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a statement of
teaching philosophy and teaching and research experience, and should
arrange for three letters of recommendation. To apply, please visit
http://deanofthefaculty.vassar.edu/positions to link to the posting
for this position.  Letters of recommendation are submitted through
that site as well.  Applications received by February 1, 2011 will be
given full consideration; applications received after that date will
be considered until the position is filled.  Vassar College is a
liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2450 students. The
1000-acre campus is located in Poughkeepsie, 75 miles north of New
York City along the Hudson River.
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9.  Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

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