Saturday, December 19, 2009

AASWomen for December 18, 2009

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 19, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Unearned Advantage and Disadvantage

2. Unconcious Bias: the CSWA special session proposal for the Miami AAS Meeting

3. CSWA Special Sessions at the D.C. AAS Meeting

4. Profiles of Various Career Paths

5. Our Thanks to Fran Bagenal, the editor of STATUS

6. Wanted: A New Editor for STATUS

7. Follow-up on Childcare at AAS DC meeting

8. Funds Remain for Childcare Grants for APS Meeting

9. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

10. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN


1. Unearned Advantage and Disadvantage
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

[We continue to summarize the major outcomes from the Women in Astronomy III conference held at the University of Maryland October 21-23, 2009 - Eds.]

Dr. Peggy McIntosh, Senior Research Scientist and the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, talked about the concept of unearned advantage and disadvantage as work impediments. Her work has added the concept of privilege to discussions of race and gender. The framework is that there exists a "line of justice" above which is the world of (unearned) privilege: above that line, you are pushed up in ways you did not earn. This creates mental attitudes of superiority and rightness, most of which are quite unconscious. Below that line exists the realm of (unearned) disadvantage. It is not that below that line one is "suffering from"; it is that above that line, one is "free of." There is no blame placed here -- one just absorbs the ideas that come with being above/below the line of justice. Everyone usually has both types and both can be impediments in the workplace.

Dr. McIntosh demonstrated this principle with concrete examples she has assembled over the years. The original work focused on race issues, but are equally applicable to gender issues. Here are some of her examples: * I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my own race/gender most of the time. * I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race/gender. * I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race/gender on trial. * I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group/gender. * I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge," I will be facing a person of my race/gender.

In her talk, Dr. McIntosh asked us to ask ourselves what we have that we didn't earn (relative to someone else); and then what disadvantage we had that we didn't earn. It was an interesting exercise...

More examples can be found in her excerpted essay "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" at http://www.case.edu/president/aaction/UnpackingTheKnapsack.pdf

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2. Unconcious Bias: the CSWA special session proposal for the Miami AAS Meeting
From: Hannah at womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/12/blogging-big-meetings-and-bias.html

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3. CSWA Special Sessions at the D.C. AAS Meeting
From: Hannah at womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/12/blogging-big-meetings-and-bias.html

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4. Profiles of Various Career Paths
From: AAS Electronic Announcement #203 - December 2009

Over the past two years, the Employment Committee has published a series of articles in the AAS Newsletter to highlight a wide variety of career paths. Each article gives an insider perspective and tips for success in a specific job sector. A collection of links to past articles in the Newsletter archives is now available at: http://aas.org/career/

If you would like to highlight a career path that is not represented in the current list of articles, please contact the Employment Committee Chair, Travis Metcalfe <travis_at_ucar.edu>

[Here's the current list from the website -- eds.]

* Preparing for the College Teaching Job Market by Luke Keller * Succeeding in a Large Research Collaboration by Andy Howell * Balancing Research and Service at NOAO by Knut Olsen * Working at a Soft-Money Institute by Barb Whitney * Back to School: A Ph.D. Enters the Classroom by Joshua Roth * Jobs in Industry by Peter Williams

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5. Our Thanks to Fran Bagenal, the editor of STATUS
From: The Members of CSWA [cswa_at_aas.org]

Fran Bagenal is stepping down as the editor of STATUS, CSWA's semiannual printed publication. Fran has been the editor since the June 2004 edition. Not only has she solicited contributions and overseen the production of each issue, but she has also written many articles herself.

In her letter of resignation, Fran told us that she was ready to move on to other things. She is a professor in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado and specializes in the synthesis of data analysis and theory in the study of space plasmas.

We thank Fran for her dedicated service and wish her all the best in her future pursuits.

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6. Wanted: A New Editor for STATUS
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

With the recent resignation of Fran Bagenal, STATUS finds itself in need of a new editor. CSWA is looking for volunteers to join Associate Editors Joannah Hinz (University of Arizona) and Patricia Knezek (WIYN Observatory) and help shepherd STATUS into the future.

STATUS consists of original and reprinted articles on topics relating to women in astronomy, in science and/or in society. Contributions, such as editorial columns, factual articles, personal stories and letters to the editor are welcome from anyone.

In this world of electronic media, CSWA feels that STATUS still has an important role to play. It is the best place for longer, more in-depth articles, which often feature plots or tables. Such articles are not well suited to the AASWOMEN or blog format. STATUS could go completely online (pdf) rather than continue in the printed format, and this will be a decision for the new editorial staff.

If you are interested in applying for the editorship of STATUS, please contact me or any CSWA member.

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7. Follow-up on Childcare at AAS DC meeting
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

Good news from Kevin Marvel -- there are now 7 families and 11 children signed up for childcare at the AAS DC meeting.

He says that this is nearly an order of magnitude more interest in AAS-provided childcare than in the past!

Keep spreading the word.

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8. Funds Remain for Childcare Grants for APS Meeting
From: WIPHYS, Dec. 15, 2009

Thinking about what to do about extra expenses in connection with childcare for that little one while you attend the APS meeting in Washington, DC in February? We can help! Small grants of up to $400 are available to assist meeting attendees at the APS annual meetings who are bringing small children or who incur extra expenses in leaving them at home. Please go to http://www.aps.org/meetings/april/services/childcare.cfm and completing the short application form.

The deadline to apply for a childcare grant for the APS February/April meeting has been extended to January 8, 2010.

Information about similar grants for the March meeting (Portland, Oregon) can be found at http://www.aps.org/meetings/march/services/childcare.cfm .

APS is pleased to offer these grants through the support of the Elsevier Foundation's New Scholars Program http://www.elsevierfoundation.org/scholar.html .

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9. 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

http://lists.aas.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aaswlist

and fill out the form.

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

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10. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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