AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of September 28, 2012
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, & Nick Murphy

This week's issues:

1. Bias Persists for Women of Science, a Study Finds

2. Zen and the Art of Astronomy Research

3. Tips for Conducting Astronomy Outreach

4. Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation

5. 3 Ways to Tell Girls How Cool Science Is

6. FYI: Why Do Girls Throw Like A Girl?

7. Why Men Fail

8. Awards and Funding Opportunities

9. Job Opportunities

10. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

12. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. Bias Persists for Women of Science, a Study Finds
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienberg_at_aas.org] and Kathy Eastwood [kathy.eastwood_at_nau.edu]

[Several readers brought this study to our attention. Below are a few links to
get you started. -Eds]

According to the New York Times, "Researchers found that university
science professors widely regard female students as less competent than male
ones." The full article is here:


Cosmic Variance Post by Sean Carroll:


The original study in PNAS (requires a subscription):


[Here is a link to this open access article. - Webmaster]

2. Zen and the Art of Astronomy Research
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

[Guest post by John Johnson, professor of Astronomy in the Caltech Department of
Astrophysics. His research is on the detection and characterization of
exoplanets. This post is a re-post from astrobites. With the start of a new
academic year, his career-life advice seemed particularly timely and useful.
Read on!]

I had the pleasure of visiting the Harvard Center for Astrophysics back in
February when I stopped through to give a colloquium. One of the CfA traditions
is for the graduate students to treat the speaker to lunch. So on the day of my
talk I hung out in a classroom with about two dozen graduate students where we
munched on pizza and talked about everything from the difficulty of measuring
stellar radial velocities at 1 m/s precision, to advice about applying for
postdoctoral fellowships, to what it’s like to be a professor.

To read more, please see


3. Tips for Conducting Astronomy Outreach
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

[Julia Kamenetzky is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. Her research focuses on extragalactic submillimeter
spectroscopy with Z-Spec and Herschel. She is active in CU’s Women in Astronomy
group and is the recent winner of the CU Boulder Graduate School’s Dorothy
Martin Doctoral Student Award for a student active in women’s issues.]

Role models are critically important for encouraging young people to pursue
science and math careers, especially young girls. Astronomy is in a unique
position because space is an incredibly interesting and awe-inspiring topic for
the general public, yet most people don’t have a good understanding of what
astronomers do. As I mentioned in a previous guest blog post, I recently started
working with an afterschool STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts,
Mathematics) program for elementary school girls.

To read more, please see


4. Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]

[A study in the American Political Science Review that considers the impact of
women's participation in group decision-making. -Eds]

Can men and women have equal levels of voice and authority in deliberation or
does deliberation exacerbate gender inequality? Does increasing women's
descriptive representation in deliberation increase their voice and authority?
... We find a substantial gender gap in voice and authority, but as
hypothesized, it disappears under unanimous rule and few women, or under
majority rule and many women. Deliberative design can avoid inequality by
fitting institutional procedure to the social context of the situation.

To read more, please see


5. 3 Ways to Tell Girls How Cool Science Is
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]

[This post by Kristina Chew describes three projects to attract girls to
science, including WitsOn!, which was featured on the Women in Astronomy Blog on
September 20, 2012. -Eds]

"I would have gone into science." A student, a humanities major, once said these
words to me as we talked about her post-college plans. It was only midway
through college that she had learned that the STEM (science, technology,
engineering, mathematics) fields offer so many possibilities for careers. I
gathered that her high school had not encouraged the study of science, at least
among girls.

Here are three ways that scientists, engineers and women in the tech world are
seeking to ensure that girls don’t find themselves with such regrets.

To read more, please see


6. FYI: Why Do Girls Throw Like A Girl?
From: Kelley M. Hess [hess_at_astro.wisc.edu]

[Another take on the nature-vs-nuture debate. -Eds]

Tagline: The genders are more alike than they are different, with one notable

You don't need to look any further than last week's news cycle to see proof that
a girl can throw a ball: Erin DiMeglio, the first female quarterback to play
high school football in Florida, made a splash by taking a spot on her team. But
some research indicates it's an uphill battle.

To read more, please see


7. Why Men Fail
From: Joan T Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

[An opinion piece by David Brooks about the traits needed for professional
success and how they may be changing from "favoring" men to "favoring" women.

You’re probably aware of the basic trends. The financial rewards to education
have increased over the past few decades, but men failed to get the memo.

To read more, please see


8. Awards and Funding Opportunities
From: AWIS Washington Wire September 2012 - Issue II

* 2013 NSF Alan T. Waterman Award Call for Nominations


* Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences at University of Nebraska - Lincoln


* ADVANCE Program Solicitation


* Small Business Postdoctoral Research Diversity Fellowship


* NSF's Career-Life Balance (CLB) Initiative


* Opportunity for Scientists to Collaborate with European Colleagues


* The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Program


9. Job Opportunities

* Two Assistant Professor Positions, Physical Sciences (including Astrophysics), UC San Diego

Note a specific emphasis on contributions to diversity, including awareness of
inequities faced by underrepresented groups, a demonstrated track record in
mentoring, teaching, or outreach aimed at underrepresented groups, and/or
specific plans to contribute to diversity.


* Tenure Track Faculty Position in Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of
Astronomy, University of Maryland College Park


* Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Middlebury College Department of Physics
(emphasis in Observational Astronomy/Astrophysics)


* Two Tenure-track Faculty Positions in Astronomy/Astrophysics at Ohio University


* Assistant Professor of Physics at Agnes Scott College


* Assistant/Associate Project Scientist Position, UC Berkeley


* National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program


* Marie Curie Fellowship


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12. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.