AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of June 21, 2013
eds. Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, & Nick Murphy

This week's issues:

1. Thank you Caroline!

2. This Week on the Women in Astronomy Blog

3. More on Men and Women in Astronomy

4. Gender bias in job postings

5. Becoming a STEM "Expert"

6. NASA's Newest Astronauts

7. Bechdel, Finkbeiner, Work-Life Balance, and sexism in Astronomy 101

8. Archetypes at Work

9. How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?

10. Soapbox Science

11. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

13. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. Thank you Caroline!
From: AASWomen Editors

Caroline Simpson is stepping down as AASWOMEN Executive Editor and Michele M.
Montgomery will be taking the helm. AASWOMEN Newsletter editors past and present
thank Caroline for her contributions to this newsletter and to the CSWA. We look
forward to working with her again in the future and deeply appreciate her
leadership toward this excellent weekly update for our community on the status
of women in astronomy. (If you look closely at the newsletter below, you'll see
her voice is still with us!) -Eds

2. This Week on the Women in Astronomy Blog
From: Contributors via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

[There are numerous excellent posts on the Women in Astronomy Blog this week.
Head over there to read up on the titles below. -Eds]

** "Career Profiles: Astronomer to Research Scientist in Genetics," an interview
with Stephanie Gogarten by Laura Trouille


** "Menstrual Cycles" by Jessica Kirkpatrick


** "ADVICE: When to Raise a Family" by Joan Schmelz


** "Scouting and Astronomy" by Hannah Jang-Condell


3. More on Men and Women in Astronomy
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]

Rob Simpson has written a follow up to his post last week about men and women in


The original is included as a guest post on the Women in Astronomy blog


4. Gender bias in job postings
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

This link was posted by Heidi Hammel on the Astronomers facebook page in
response to Robert Simpson's blog post about lack of women volunteering to talk
at the .Astronomy conference. There are several comments on the blog, and 22 on
the Facebook page.


5. Becoming a STEM "Expert"
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

This interview is with of one our graduate students at Florida International
University, Idaykis Rodriguez. Her area of research is in physics education. She
studied how students become 'experts' in their research communities.

Ask A Physicist: 5 Tips For Women In Science

Lilyvania Mikulski, the Assistant Director of the Office of Media Relations at
Florida International University, interviewed Idaykis Rodriguez, a Ph.D.
candidate in Physics at the university about what it means to be a woman in
science. Their correspondence is as follows:


6. NASA's Newest Astronauts
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienberg_at_aas.org]

New Female Astronauts Show Evolution of Women in Space

Half of the newest astronauts are female, but that wasn't always the case.

To read more, please see


7. Bechdel, Finkbeiner, Work-Life Balance, and Sexism in Astronomy 101
From: Kelle Cruz [kellecruz_at_gmail.com] and Nick Murphy [namurphy_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

[Several additional posts on the Finkbeiner test, taken from Christie
Aschwanden's DoubleXScience blog, were included in the March 8, 2013 AASWOMEN
Newsletter and are linked again below. -Eds]

By Jason T Wright

There's been some increased interest on the internet lately about the Bechdel
test for women appearing in film.  The test comes from a comic strip in which a
character explains that she only watches films that contain:

1. At least two female characters
2. That talk to *each other*
3. About something *other than a man*

Depressingly very few films pass this test, which is partly a testament to the
lack of female protagonists in film (few supporting characters in film have any
role except to talk about the protagonist) but mostly a statement about how few
well-developed female characters there are in film at all.

To read more, please see


The above-mentioned AASWOMEN posts can be found here



8. Archetypes at Work
From: Johanna Teske [jkteske_at_email.arizona.edu]

Mark Kuchner, of Marketing for Scientists, writes about his conversation with
the Women in Astrophysics group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center about
archetypes at work, and comes to some surprising (and unsurprising) conclusions
regarding female astronomers' archetypes:


In an article that seems (to me) related, researchers at the Technische
Universität München School of Management found that women displaying happiness
are perceived as being less able and willing to lead.

Recommendation: Get an attitude and show pride in your ideas!


9. How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

In the July/August issue of The Atlantic, Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology
at San Diego State University, discusses the surprising origin of the
oft-repeated statement that female fertility begins to decline in the
mid-to-late 20s.

"Deep anxiety about the ability to have children later in life plagues many
women. But the decline in fertility over the course of a woman's 30s has been
oversold. Here's what the statistics really tell us—and what they don't."


10. Soapbox Science
From: Nancy Morrison [nmorris_at_utnet.utoledo.edu]

Soapbox Science (http://soapboxscience.org/, @SoapboxScience), a science
communication group in the UK, is seeking career stories from women in science
worldwide, particularly those who have left. They want to transform the stories
into advice that could help retain women in research careers.

'It's not difficult to work out that good advice and mentorship at the right
time can make or break the success of early career female scientists. But like
Emma, all too often they get the advice they need too late. Before they know it,
they have become another statistic in the leaky pipe of gender inequality in
science. There is not enough good research out there yet for us to know the key
factors for why there are so few women in science, or what the solution is to
improving the retention of women in science. ... The best advice for developing
a water-tight strategy comes from those who have already surmounted the
challenges that lie ahead.'

To read more:


11. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to
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All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email

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12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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13. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.