AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 24, 2012
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, & Nick Murphy

This week's issues:

1. Job Application Season -- Think Broadly & Take Advantage of Resources!

2. Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women

3. Unconscious Bias at the IAU in Beijing

4. Careers and Diversity in the NSF AST Portfolio Review Report

5. Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop for Early-Career AAS Members

6. The Academiad

7. Anonymous Comments Now Welcome

8. Beyond Starship Enterprise: Racism, Sexism & The Science Pipeline

9. AAAS Hollywood & Science Webinar

10. AAS HEAD Dissertation Prize

11. Nomination Deadlines for 2012 AAAS Awards

12. Job Opportunities

13. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

14. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

15. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. Job Application Season -- Think Broadly & Take Advantage of Resources!
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

With the job application season around the corner once again, I thought it might
be helpful to share a few relatively new resources spearheaded by astronomers,
for astronomers. The AAS Job Register is starting to branch out to advertise
more than just academic jobs, but here are additional resources to help you
access the broader range of jobs we have the skills to excel in.

To read more, please see


2. Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women
From: Andrea Schweitzer [schweitzer_at_frii.com]

I have always liked Phil Plait and his Bad Astronomy Blog


and now I have a reason to like him even more. Recently Phil wrote this
thoughtful article about sexism.

Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women: Phil Plait


3. Unconscious Bias at the IAU in Beijing
From: multiple anonymous

[Several attendees at the IAU Symposium, happening this week and next in
Beijing, have contributed observations of the ongoing unconscious bias that
continues to occur and hinder progress for all who are not part of the majority
population in astronomy. -Eds.]

Attendee 1: I am sitting here in a plenary session at the IAU and, now having
been made aware of the bias in the introduction of speakers, I could not have
come across a better example. An older renowned scientist spent twice as long on
each of the white male speakers, peppering their introductions with their
awesome contributions to the field, but noting only the CV (job location,
institution) for the female speaker. What was also clear was the reaction of the
audience to the speakers. Like a bunch of kids in a candy store listening to the
male speakers (I was watching other attendees from behind), they were nodding in
approval and clearly excited by the intro, whereas the female speaker was
received more coolly -- very stark and depressing.

Attendee 2: [T]he very first day of one symposium, not one female was given the
chance to present. So sad!

4. Careers and Diversity in the NSF AST Portfolio Review Report
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]

Kelle Cruz is curating a nice community discussion about the recent Portfolio
Review Report from the NSF's Astronomy Division on the AstroBetter Blog


Sections of particular interest to the AASWomen Newsletter's readership include

  6.4: Career Support and Progression
  6.5: Diversity of the Workforce
  7.3: Workforce Diversity (Small Grants Programs)

Please join the conversation and stay tuned for future discussions on the CSWA's
Women in Astronomy Blog and the AASWomen Newsletter.

5. Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop for Early-Career AAS Members
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienberg_at_aas.org] on behalf of the AAS Astronomy
Education Board

The newly established AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program is designed to support
early-career AAS members with training in resources and techniques for effective
outreach to students and/or the public:


The first Astronomy Ambassadors workshop will be held on 5-6 January 2013 in
conjunction with the 221st AAS meeting in Long Beach, California. The number of
participants is limited; we especially encourage applications from members of
groups that are presently underrepresented in science. If interested, please
complete the online application form by October 24, 2012.

For more workshop information visit


To complete an online application visit


6. The Academiad
From Nicolle Zellner via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

I'll admit it – I'm an Olympics junkie. During these 17 days every two years, I
stay up way too late to watch events I never think twice about otherwise. This
summer they included synchronized diving, rowing, weightlifting, badminton,
swimming – you name it, I've probably watched it. I'm addicted to watching
thrills of victory and agonies of defeat, none closer to my heart this year than
our local girl, Jordyn Wieber, who, though the 2011 World Champion in the All
Around for gymnastics, failed to qualify for the same in the Olympics. My sister
was a competitive gymnast, so I know her life, and my heart broke for Jordyn.
However, as I watched her rebound during the team competition and witnessed the
anxiety – and then the elation – of the close-knit teammates as they awaited the
final score to post for the Team competition, I couldn’t help but think how much
graduate school is like a gymnastics event. In fact, academia is very much like
the Olympics in general. You don’t believe me? Let me explain... but forgive me
if I stretch the analogies or flip-flop between ideas.

To read more, please see


7. Anonymous Comments Now Welcome
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Dear CSWA blog readers,

A major goal for this blog is for it to be as useful a resource as possible. One
way we can improve its impact is by increasing the participation in the
'comments/discussion' section after each post. For example, when I read
FemaleScienceProfessor, oftentimes I get as much from the reader comments as I
do from the post itself. I would love for our CSWA blog to similarly benefit
from all the knowledge and thoughtful ideas of our readers.

One change to the blog we thought might help is to once again allow anonymous

To read more, please see


8. Beyond Starship Enterprise: Racism, Sexism & The Science Pipeline
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]

[This blog post by Sikivu Hutchinson, which includes a profile of planetary
geologist and astrophysicist, Devin Waller, discusses media representation (or
lack thereof) of scientists from underrepresented groups. -Eds.]

Decked out in a white lab coat straight from central casting, the African
American science teacher featured in Target’s latest "Back to School" commercial
is a cartoonish reminder of the dearth of images of black scientists in American
popular culture. Riffing about school supplies to the tune of Thomas Dolby’s
"She Blinded Me with Science," the teacher declares, "Parents, this year I’m
going to teach your kids that magic does exist. It’s called science," as he
makes the rounds in a magical classroom filled with mostly white students. When
youth of color see scientists in mainstream film, TV or advertising it’s usually
the lone wolf, trailblazing bullet proof-Einstein white male (or the sexualized
white female variant, typically buried behind thick attitude glasses ready to be
whipped off before a sex scene) peering through a microscope with furrowed brow.
Mainstream representation codes heroism, scientific discovery, scientific
genius, and rationality as white. Recent media coverage of the Mars Curiosity
rover’s ecstatic predominantly white Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) crew was yet
another affirmation of this link.

To read more, please see


9. AAAS Hollywood & Science Webinar
From: AAAS/Science Announcements, August 23, 2012

[This webinar might be interesting insofar as it touches on Hollywood's
portrayal of women in STEM (see also item 6 above). -Eds.]

Summer is synonymous with Hollywood blockbusters. "The Dark Knight Rises,"
"Prometheus," and "The Amazing Spider-Man" are just three of this summer's big
films, offering the latest in science fiction and over the top special effects.
But how much of what we are seeing is actually scientifically possible?

As for the portrayal of scientists in TV and film, Hollywood has often
stereotyped scientists as nerdy, evil, or noble but hopelessly out of touch.
Recently however, Hollywood’s approach towards science, and scientists, has
started to change.

Join AAAS MemberCentral on Wednesday, August 29th at noon Eastern Time as we
explore the relationship between science and popular entertainment in a one-hour
audio webinar titled "Hollywood & Science: Bringing accurate science to TV and

To learn more or to register, please visit


10. AAS HEAD Dissertation Prize
From: Randall Smith [rsmith_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

The AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division is seeking nominations for their HEAD
Dissertation Prize "to recognize an outstanding doctoral dissertation in
high-energy astrophysics" -- it will be awarded for only the third time at the
2013 HEAD meeting in Monterey, CA.

You can find everything you need to know about the prize at


Anyone whose PhD was awarded between April 7, 2010 and April 7, 2013 is
eligible. Most important: you must be nominated to be considered! Nominations
should be submitted to the HEAD Secretary via email to


by Friday, September 28th, 2012. Note: Self-nominations are NOT accepted.

11. Nomination Deadlines for 2012 AAAS Awards
From: AAAS Advances, August 2012

[Here are several more prizes for which we encourage you to nominate excellent
female scientists. The individual deadlines are in parenthesis. -Eds.]

* AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize (1 September): honors a public servant for
sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science or a scientist or
engineer for a distinguished career of both scientific achievement and other
notable services to the scientific community. More information


* AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy (1 September): honors an individual or group
for making extraordinary contributions to further science diplomacy in the
scientific or engineering communities (formerly the AAAS Award for International
Scientific Cooperation). For more information contact Awards Coordinator (202)
326-6650, or e-mail diplomacy@aaas.org.

* AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility (1 September): honors
scientists, engineers, and their organizations whose exemplary actions,
sometimes taken at significant personal cost, have served to foster scientific
freedom and responsibility. For more information contact Deborah Runkle at (202)
326-6794, e-mail drunkle@aaas.org.

* 2013 AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books (5 September):
celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young
adults (sponsored by Subaru). More information


* AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science (15 October):
recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in
their contribution to public engagement with science activities. More


12. Job Opportunities

* Education and Public Outreach Content Specialist, Space Telescope Science
Institute, Baltimore, MD


* Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Positions


 -- WIYN Consortium Site Manager (Job #12-0107), Kitt Peak, AZ
 -- LSST Sr. Systems Engineer (Job #12-0097), Tucson, AZ
 -- NOAO Public Program Specialist (Job #12-0131), Kitt Peak, AZ
 -- NOAO AOP Imager Guide (Job #12-0102), Kitt Peak, AZ

13. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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15. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.