AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of September 20, 2013
eds: Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner

This week's issues:

1. Invitation to Subscribe to the AASWOMEN Newsletter

2. Advice: Being Ignored in a Meeting

3. On The Math Achievement Gender "Gap"

4. Postdoc-hood & Infertility: Part 2

5. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Patent Examiner

6. Calling Senior Women Radio Astronomers

7. UK Astronomy - an old-boy's network?

8. The Women Who Mapped the Universe and Still Couldn't Get Any Respect

9. Job Opportunities

10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN Newsletter

11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWOMEN Newsletter

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1. Invitation to Subscribe to the AASWOMEN Newsletter
From: The Editors [aaswomen_at_aas.org]

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) strives to create a
climate of equal opportunity in hiring, promotion, salary, and in access to
research opportunities and infrastructure at all levels within the field of
astronomy ranging from undergraduate and graduate programs and then throughout a
career in teaching, research, and/or other astronomy-related fields such as
public outreach. [We are a committee of the American Astronomical Society --- Webmaster.]

AASWOMEN is CSWA's weekly electronic newsletter. As a new academic year
begins, we invite you to help us expand our community of readers and
contributors.  Please forward this issue to any new students, post-docs, and
scientists that may be interested.  

Join AASWOMEN List by email:

Send email to aaswlist+subscribe@aas.org from the address you want to have
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2. Advice: Being Ignored in a Meeting
From: Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Have you ever been in this situation: you're sitting in a meeting and make what
you think is a great suggestion; you're ignored. Ten minutes later, someone else
makes a similar suggestion and everyone thinks it's just the greatest idea. Are
you invisible? Did you imagine it? Were you really speaking out loud? How can
women deal with being ignored and/or having their ideas dismissed? Of course,
this can happen to men too!

To read the suggestions, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/09/advice-being-ignored-in-meeting.html

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3. On The Math Achievement Gender "Gap"
From: John Johnson via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

In previous posts I have written in support of affirmative action under the
assumption that "men and women are equally capable of succeeding as professional
astronomers. There is no inherent (intrinsic) difference in mental capacity,
creativity, ability to learn, or any other factor that plays into the success of
an astronomer."  However, after digging around a bit, it turns out there is a
difference in mathematical ability between men and women (Hyde, Fennema & Lamon
1990), and it's often cited as a reason why there aren't many women in "hard
core" science fields. But it doesn't really work that way; the achievement "gap"
is not at all what some would imply (h/t Slate).

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/09/on-math-achievement-gender-gap.html

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4. Postdoc-hood & Infertility: Part 2
From: Anonymous via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

A few weeks ago I posted about my husband and my quest for fertility. The emails
and conversations I've had since have been heart-warming. It's so helpful to
hear other people's stories; those who have happily come out the other side,
those who have adopted, and those who are in the thick of it now. It's also been
further confirmation that there are a lot of women and men in STEM juggling
infertility issues and career uncertainties. My best wishes goes out to all of
you.

In the most general sense, this experience has been a good reminder of the
obvious - people present a certain version of themselves at work, but who knows
what kinds of obstacles and hardships they're dealing with outside of work.
Remembering this has made me more empathetic in my workplace interactions,
treating people with extra gentleness and give.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/09/postdoc-hood-infertility-part-2_18.html

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5. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Patent Examiner
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and the AAS Employment
Committee have compiled dozens of interviews highlighting the diversity of
career trajectories available to astronomers. The interviews share advice and
lessons learned from individuals on those paths.

Below is our interview with Cara Rakowski, an astronomer turned Patent Examiner
for the US Patent and Trademark Office.

To read more, please see

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/09/career-profiles-astronomer-to-patent.html

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6. Calling Senior Women Radio Astronomers
From: Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

On September 11, 2013, the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research
(ICRAR) announced the creation of a fellowship for senior women astronomers. The
fellowship will start accepting applications in February 2014 for an outstanding
candidate to visit ICRAR and interact with researchers and graduate students.

To read about this opportunity, please see

http://phys.org/news/2013-09-women-astronomers.html

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7. UK Astronomy - an old-boy's network?
From: Carole Mundell [cgm_at_astro.livjm.ac.uk]

The UK's funding agency that covers astronomy - the Science and Technology
Facilities Council - runs an annual summer school for new graduate students
embarking on their PhDs in the UK. This year's summer school has excelled in
failing to provide any women speakers. The UK has numerous outstanding women
astrophysicsts, who are world leaders in a wide range of subjects and represent
a range of age and background, so the absence of women speakers cannot be
explained by a lack of talented women! How sad that the new graduate students
this year will think that only men can succeed in astronomy.

To read more, please see

http://telescoper.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/welcome-to-astronomy-unless-youre-female/

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8. The Women Who Mapped the Universe and Still Couldn't Get Any Respect
From: Nick Murphy [namurphy_at_cfa.harvard.edu]

"In 1881, Edward Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard Observatory, had a
problem: the volume of data coming into his observatory was exceeding his
staff's ability to analyze it. He also had doubts about his staff's
competence - especially that of his assistant, who Pickering dubbed inefficient at
cataloging. So he did what any scientist of the latter 19th century would have
done: he fired his male assistant and replaced him with his maid, Williamina
Fleming. Fleming proved so adept at computing and copying that she would work at
Harvard for 34 years - eventually managing a large staff of assistants.

"So began an era in Harvard Observatory history where women - more than 80 during
Pickering's tenure, from 1877 to his death in 1919 - worked for the director,
computing and cataloging data. Some of these women would produce significant
work on their own; some would even earn a certain level of fame among followers
of female scientists. But the majority are remembered not individually but
collectively, by the moniker Pickering's Harem."

To read more, please see

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/09/the-women-who-mapped-the-universe-and-
still-couldnt-get-any-respect/

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9. 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

 -Faculty Position in Astronomy or Physics Education Research, Western Washington University:
   http://careers.aps.org/jobs/5624700/tenure-track-assistant-professor-position

 -Postdoctoral positions in Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University:
   http://www.princeton.edu/astro/resources/job/jo/index.xml

 -Assistant Professor in Planetary Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz:
   http://apo.ucsc.edu/academic_employment/jobs/JPF00057-14.pdf

 -Executive Director, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP):
   http://www.astrosociety.org/society-news/asp-executive-director-opening/

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10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to
topics, email 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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11. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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