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Note From Editor

January 2009

Fran Bagenal (Professor of Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder)


Change is in the air, and STATUS is moving with the times. First, you will notice the change in layout. After many years of layout support from STScI, (thank you Krista Wildt), the new STATUS is coming from the AAS office. Second, there is discussion on CSWA about moving from hard copy into the modern era of blogs and chat rooms. Online postings allow rapid response to issues, debate on hot topics as well as postings/links to material as it appears. Watch AASWOMEN http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html) for news. In the meantime, past issues of STATUS (always available at http://www.aas.org/cswa/STATUS.html) are being re-organized online so that you can search for articles on specific topics, people, etc; – lots of good stuff there on issues that seem to recur. A net result is that hard copy of STATUS will probably be issued only once per year – unless of course we are flooded with good material. Recognizing that even the indomitable Meg Urry does not have the spare time to edit the proceedings of the Women In Astronomy conference that was held in June, 2003 at Caltech, Pasadena, STATUS will be publishing transcripts from the conference over the next few issues. Articles by Charlotte Fishman and Denise Denton have already been published (January 2007) and in this issue Kevin Marvel presents his study of the AAS demographics, with a 2008 update. The recommendations from the Pasadena WIA conference have been circulated and astronomy institutions have been encouraged to endorse them. We are including a brochure of the Pasadena recommendations as a centerfold – easy for removing, copying and distributing. Finally, one of the reasons this issue is so late in appearing is that we have been anticipating an important report from National Research Council on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. Look out for a full discussion and interview of the Chair, astronomer Claude Canizares in the next issue. As always, your contributions to STATUS are heartily welcome.

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