Issue of July 17, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery
This week's issues:
1. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers?
[Last week we asked who you would put in the top ten for most inspirational women astronomer. Here's what you said - Eds.]
From: Jay Pasachoff <Jay.M.Pasachoff_at_williams.edu>
As for Michele Montgomery's posting of NewScientist's top 10 lists of most inspirational woman scientists of all time, I am glad to see that the brief biographies by Naomi Pasachoff (my wife) include #1 on the list both in the Oxford University Press's Portraits in Science series http://www.williams.edu/astronomy/solarcorona/naomi.html and on the American Institute of Physics Website: www.aip.org/history/curie.
But another of her subjects, Barbara McClintock, could arguably be in that top 10 list, ahead of some of the people listed.
My take on the NewScientist survery was this: why does there have to be a top 10? Surely if it was put another way - the top 10 males - it simply could not be done as there are so many who have given their contributions to science. The same applies to women - there are far to many to stop at just 10. There would also be a fair few women who are not widely recognised or known about, and perhaps this is a great opportunity to bring out the top 100 women in science and/or astronomy and give a small amount of information about each of them. It would be a fascinating and inspirational read.
From: Hannah at the Women in Astronomy Blog [ http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ ]
I would also list Caroline Herschel. I like to think that the new infrared space telescope (which just released some first light images today!) is named for her. I also think that Vera Rubin is a living legend in her own right.Back to top.
2. Why Aren't More Women Tenured Science Professors?
From: Hannah at the Women in Astronomy Blog
[ http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ ]
From the Scientific American: "Why Aren't More Women Tenured Science Professors?":
Women who apply for tenure-track positions at top-tier research universities in math and sciences these days have a slightly better chance of landing the job than their male colleagues, says a new study funded by the National Science Foundation.
But that's just for those who apply, which is a good tick lower than those who earn PhDs. In chemistry, for example, women made up 32 percent of newly minted PhDs from 1999 to 2003 but accounted for only 18 percent of applicants to tenure-track positions.
Link to full Scientific American article at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=women-tenured-science-professorsBack to top.
3. Citizens in 34 Countries Show Implicit Bias Linking Males More Than
Females with Science
From:Hannah at the Women in Astronomy Blog
[ http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ ]
From UVA Today: "Citizens in 34 Countries Show Implicit Bias Linking Males More Than Females with Science":
Implicit stereotypes -- thoughts that people may be unwilling to express or may not even know that they have -- may have a powerful effect on gender equity in science and mathematics engagement and performance, according to a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The international study involving more than half a million participants in 34 countries revealed that 70 percent harbor implicit stereotypes associating science with males more than with females. Moreover, in countries whose citizens stereotyped most strongly, boys achieved at a higher level in eighth-grade science and math.
Full story at http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=9054Back to top.
4. Request for Numbers
From: Sharon Traweek [traweek_at_history.ucla.edu]
For a proposal research project, I have been seeking data unsuccessfully on the number of US-based women and/or minority post-PhD researchers now working in
*space based astronomy and *land based astronomy.
Ground and space-based research have different funding ecologies. Women/minorities might be distributed among those kinds of projects differently and possibly at different career stages. Within most fields, participants report that women and minorities are distributed among subfields in distinctive ways. However, very few databases identify gender/ethnic distributions among research specializations or by kind of research facilility.
In lieu of any currently available data I would appreciate any informed estimates with the usual multiple caveats.Back to top.
5. South Asian Physics Foundation Student Conference Program
From: WIPHYS, July 10, 2009
The South Asian Physics Foundation is pleased to announce our new Student Conference Program, which provides funds for South Asian physics students to attend international scientific conferences in South Asia. Its purpose is to encourage international contacts, collaborations and broadened perspectives among South Asian physics students while supporting promising research and scholarship. The program is open to all South Asian undergraduate or graduate students in any field of physics who are currently attending university in a South Asian country. Participants will have a unique opportunity to present a scientific paper or poster at a physics or physics-related conference in a South Asian country other than that of the student's university or citizenship.
For more information and an application, please visit our website at www.southasianphysicsfoundation.org.
SAPF is a new nonprofit organization supporting international collaboration in physics in South Asia. We welcome comments and suggestions on this topic.
-- Jessica Hirschfelder and Vidhya Ramachandran, foundersBack to top.
6. Permanent Faculty Position in Astronomy, Florida Institute of
From: Terry Oswalt [toswalt_at_fit.edu]
The Department of Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology invites applications for a permanent faculty position that preferably will begin in August 2009. This position may be at any rank, assistant through full professor. Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in observational astronomy and an interest in serving as director of the Ortega Observatory on the FIT campus. The successful candidate will also have guaranteed access to the SARA facilities at Kitt Peak and Cerro Tololo. Candidates with experience in astronomical instrumentation, planetary, galactic and/or extragalactic research are particularly encouraged.
Florida Tech is located on the eastern coast of central Florida, just south of the Kennedy Space Center. Information about the Department can be found at http://cos.fit.edu/pss/ .
To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, statement of research and teaching experience, and the names of at least three references to
searchpss_at_fit.edu or via regular mail to
Faculty Search Committee Dept. of Physics and Space Sciences Florida Institute of Technology 150 W. University Blvd. Melbourne FL 32901 USA.
The review of applications will begin on June 15th, however applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. FIT is an equal opportunity employer.Back to top.
7. Two staff positions at NOAO-South, La Serena, Chile
From: Nicole S. van der Bliek [nvdbliek_at_ctio.noao.edu]
Assistant or Associate Astronomer, Job No. 949 Scientist, Job No. 950
Excerpt of the job postings For full postings see: http://www.ctio.noao.edu
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) invites applications for two scientific staff positions, both based at NOAO-South, the site of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), in La Serena, Chile.
The astronomer position is a tenure track position, with up to 50% time for individual research and 50% time devoted to observatory duties. The scientist position is a parallel track position, with up to 20% for individual research and 80% time devoted to observatory duties.
The ideal candidates will be observational astronomers with several years of experience in astronomical instrumentation and instrument support. Specific interest in opical spectroscopy and/or infrared imaging and spectroscopy is advantageous, but all skill sets relevant to CTIO will be considered. Familiarity with modern observatory operations and scientific data management will also be favorable considered in the selection process.
Applicants will be considered at all levels. NOAO is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. AURA and NOAO actively support efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities. Women and candidates from underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications received prior to September 1, 2009 are assured of full consideration; however, the position will remain open until filled. Applications should include a curriculum vita; a statement of current professional interests and how those interests align with the NOAO program; and the names of three references. When applying for this position please refer to the job title and job number above. Application materials should be submitted electronically (preferred) to hrnoao_at_noao.edu, or by mail to address below.
Further details can be obtained from the Director for CTIO, Dr. R. Chris Smith (director_at_ctio.noao.edu). Profiles of some NOAO Scientists and Astronomers have been posted on the NOAO webpages, to give potential applicants a snapshot of what these positions involve and what it is like to work at NOAO. Please see http://www.noao.edu/staffdir/profiles.php
Send resume to:
Human Resources Office National Optical Astronomy Observatory P.O. Box 26732 Tucson, Arizona 85726-6732 Email: hrnoao_at_noao.edu FAX: 520-318-8494Back to top.
8. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
[Please remember to replace "_at_" in the below e-mail addresses.]
To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org
All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).
To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to
and fill out the form.
If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.orgBack to top.
9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.