AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy
Issue of March 8, 2013
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, & Nick Murphy

This week's issues:

1. CSWA seeking new committee members

2. Meg Urry Elected President of the AAS

3. Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities

4. (Re)starting the Discussion about Hiring Practices

5. First time away from the kids? Whoop it up!

6. Feathering the Intellectual Nest

7. The Finkbeiner Test: What Matters in Stories about Women Scientists?

8. Special Section in Nature on Women in Science

9. Should we replace work-life-balance with autonomy?

10. Call for Nominations for the 2013 IUPAP Young Scientist Medal in the field of Astrophysics

11. Job Opportunities

12. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

14. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

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1. CSWA seeking new committee members
From: Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy [aaswomen_at_aas.org]

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) will be appointing a
few new members in June. Terms are for three years. If you are interested in
serving, please send an email with information about yourself (guided by the
questions below) to aaswomen_at_aas.org.

For more information about the Committee, see our webpage at
http://www.aas.org/cswa. For an example of recent work, look over the Strategic
Plan from 2009 which has guided the committee's efforts lately:

http://www.aas.org/cswa/CSWA_StratPlan_2009.pdf

1) What activities are you / have you been involved in that are relevant to CSWA
efforts?

2) What aspects of the CSWA efforts would you particularly be interested in
getting involved in and what are some specific ways you could contribute?

3) What kind of time commitment would you be able to give to the committee?

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2. Meg Urry Elected President of the AAS
From: Michele Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

Meg Urry, Physics professor at Yale, has been elected president of the AAS. She
begins her two-year term in June 2014 and she will spend the next year as
president-elect to prepare for her term. Meg Urry has been an advocate for
leadership of women in the science community, especially in astronomy.

To read a blog of the story in the Yale Daily News, please see

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/03/05/urry-elected-president-of-astronomical-
society/

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3. Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

AASWomen mentioned a thoughtful, short (< 5 minute) video in this
Friday's newsletter. It contains a few nuggets of wisdom I wanted to highlight,
to help kick off the week on the right foot.

The video is a compilation of highlights from a roundtable discussion at McGill
University with four prominent women scientists: Drs. Brenda Milner, Rima Rozen,
Jane Stewart, and Victoria Kaspi (an astronomer).

The conversation touches on topics from work-life balance to mentoring to
impostor syndrome. I appreciate the candor with which the women speak. For
example, on the topic of self confidence, Dr. Kaspi described, "I know when I
was young I spent an awful amount of time wondering - Do I belong here? Should I
be doing physics? I wish I hadn't wasted all that energy because there's so much
interesting work out there to do."

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/03/women-in-science-challenges-and.html

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4. (Re)starting the Discussion about Hiring Practices
From: David Helfand and Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Many of us received the following email from the AAS, containing a letter from
David Helfand (AAS president) about hiring practices. I thought I'd repost it
here, to provide a space for discussion about this topic.

What do you think?

To read Dr. Helfand's letter and participate in this discussion, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/03/restarting-discussion-about-hiring.html

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5. First time away from the kids? Whoop it up!
From: Evgenya Shkolnik via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Today's guest blogger is Evgenya Shkolnik. Evgenya is a tenure-track astronomer
at Lowell Observatory, where she studies exoplanets, young low-mass stars, and
star-planet interactions. She also is the mother of three young children: Reuben
(age 6), Sima (age 4), Leona (age 1.8). Below is an email exchange Evgenya had
recently with her friend Kim, a geophysicist.

Hi Evgenya,

I need advice/help from a veteran. In two weeks, I'll be heading out to Dublin
for a week-long conference and leaving my kids for the first time ever. I'm not
too concerned about Sam but I'm worried about how Beatrix is going to deal with
my absence. She's almost 2 so won't really understand that I'm just temporarily
away. How have your littlest ones coped when you've been away? Any tips? Colin
will be with them and I've got my Mom coming out to stay while I'm away so I'm
hoping that offers enough distraction. Also, Beatrix still nurses a few times a
day so I'm worried that my absence will be traumatizing. And, how do you
personally cope with being away from your kids for extended periods? I'm missing
them already and I haven't even left yet!! I think I'm going to need therapy
after this! Any words of wisdom, or consoling, are greatly appreciated.

All the best,
Kim

For Evgenya Shkolnik's response, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/03/first-time-away-from-kids-
whoop-it-up.html

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6. Feathering the Intellectual Nest
From: Nicolle Zellner via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

A few weeks ago, for almost 48 hours, I didn't grade, read, or think (much)
about department issues. Crazy, huh? The semester had just started and I should
have been preparing new class lecture notes, finishing up projects from the past
semester, or otherwise trying to "pre-organize" so that I don't feel like I'm
putting out proverbial fires every day over the next few months. But that
weekend? Forget it. That weekend was for me - and a few of my girlfriends.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/03/feathering-intellectual-nest.html

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7. The Finkbeiner Test: What Matters in Stories about Women Scientists?
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

Christie Aschwanden on the DoubleXScience blog discusses a recent posting by Ann
Finkbeiner at Last Word on Nothing on being fed up with the usual focus of
profiles of women scientists. She's had enough, and proposes the following rules
that were inspired by the Bechdel test for movies:

To pass the Finkbeiner test, the story cannot mention

The fact that she's a woman
Her husband's job
Her child care arrangements
How she nurtures her underlings
How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field
How she's such a role model for other women
How she's the "first woman to…"

For the original posts, please see

http://www.doublexscience.org/the-finkbeiner-test/
http://www.doublexscience.org/what-im-not-going-to-do/

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8. Special Section in Nature on Women in Science
From: Maryam Modjaz [mmodjaz_at_nyu.edu]

A special section of Nature finds that there is still much to do to achieve
gender equality in science:

http://www.nature.com/news/women-in-science-women-s-work-1.12547

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9. Should we replace work-life-balance with autonomy?
From: Nancy Brickhouse [nbrickhouse_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

Should we replace work-life-balance with autonomy?
By Melissa J. Anderson

New Accenture research, published today, shows that more and more employees
globally feel they are getting a handle on work life balance. In fact, according
to the study, the same percentage of men and women (70 percent) say they believe
they can "have it all," just maybe not all at the same time.

This shows that people feeling a sense of empowerment about their ability to
negotiate their own career and personal demands.

The research (which consisted of an online survey of 4,100 business executives
at medium and large companies around the world) reflects what Accenture's
Managing Director of Global Inclusion & Diversity Nellie Borrero called a
growing trend. She believes corporate culture is evolving in a way that
encourages people to take more control over their own career paths. Those stats
on work life balance may be part of a new global employee autonomy paradigm.

To read more, please see

http://www.theglasshammer.com/news/2013/03/01/should-we-replace-work-life-balance-
with-autonomy/

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10. Call for Nominations for the 2013 IUPAP Young Scientist Medal in the field
of Astrophysics
From: Karen Masters [Karen.Masters_at_port.ac.uk]

The IUPAP Young Scientist Medal of 2013 and Award of 1,000 EUR will be awarded
for a scientist working in the field of astrophysics. To read more about how to
nominate a candidate, please see

http://aas.org/posts/opportunity/2013/03/call-nominations-2013-iupap-young-scientist-medal-field-astrophysics

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11. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their
organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:

http://www.aas.org/cswa/diversity.html#howtoincrease

* Tenure-Track Assistant Professor position, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
http://cms.bsu.edu/about/administrativeoffices/humanresources/employopp/public/
faculty/colscihum/103812-asst-prof-physics-and-astronomy

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12. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send
email to aaswomen_at_aas.org

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email
address.

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a
one-line description and a link to the full job posting.

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

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13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

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Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back
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14. Access to Past Issues

http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.