Issue of August 13, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson amp; Michele Montgomery
This week's issues:
*** FOLLOWING JOB POSTING TAKEN FROM WIPHYS ***
1."Agora": movie about Hypatia
From: Fran Bagenal [bagenal_at_lasp.colorado.edu]
Made by a spanish director, the movie "Agora" has been out in various art movie houses around the country. It features Hypatia (astronomer amp; philosopher) and the strife of the fall of the roman empire and battling religious factions of ~400AD. The movie naturally embellishes things perhaps a little but generally sticks fairly well to history - at least as I have read about these times and Hypatia (about whom we know very little). I found it thought-provoking and liked the way the Intro Astro topics were incorporated. I will probably buy the DVD and use segments in classes.
Read Roger Ebert's review: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100721/REVIEWS/100729996/1023
Read my article in STATUS about teaching as Hypatia: http://www.aas.org/cswa/status/2009/JANUARY2009/Hypatia.html
Find out where it is showing: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186830/cinemashowtimesBack to top.
2. Maternity leave
From: Alice Astro Info [alicesastroinfo_at_gmail.com]
I just found out that a colleague (Ph.D, astronomy, physics, adjunct professor) can't take (even unpaid) maternity leave because she does more research than teaching at a university that is trying to position itself to have more of a research focus than they have had. So, even though she works full time, she gets no sick time, no vacation, and no maternity leave. If she takes a quarter off to have a child, all her seniority will be lost.
Excuse me, but this is just wrong. What can we do to fix this?
We live in a world of equality? A world where women are valued?
How can I go out to talk to teenage girls and tell them you can have it all, if you want it bad enough to work hard, when there are people like my friend?
[editor's note: this situation would also adversely affect a man in the same situation if he needed to take serious time off for some reason; however, maternity leave is more physically necessary for women, though family leave is needed by both. And more women than men are likely to be in non-tenure track jobs in academia. But it is an issue for people in academia in general.]Back to top.
3. Man Boy(cott)?
From: Female Science Professor Blog
At various times in this blog, I have described professional events such as conference sessions, workshops, and speaker series in which there are no invited women speakers. The audience might consist of 30-50% women, especially if students and postdocs are in attendance, but every invited speaker is male. It is easier to explain the occurrence of such situations if there are a limited number of invited speaker slots in a field with few women researchers; it becomes more difficult when there are a dozen or more invited speaker slots and more than a few women researchers in that field.
There are a number of possible explanations for the absence of women as invited speakers at these events: e.g., deliberate exclusion because the organizers don't respect women researchers, accidental/unthinking exclusion because the organizers just didn't think of any 'qualified' women, or despite-best-efforts exclusion when all invited women decline an invitation. In today's post, I don't want to discuss which of these explanations is most likely, as the answer to that will vary from event to event and from field to field. I would, however, like to discuss the question:
Does an all-men speaker slate influence your decision about whether to attend these events?
[see the full post at http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2010/08/man-boycott.html ]Back to top.
4. NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program
From: Luisa Rebull [rebull_at_ipac.caltech.edu]
I'm the director of the NITARP (the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program) -- the purpose of this program is to provide educators (mostly but not exclusively grade 8-13 classroom teachers) with an authentic research experience in astronomy. In exchange, we ask educators to leverage this experience via providing professional development for their colleagues in their local area, or other similar activities. It involves several trips to collaborate with research astronomers and present the research results (at AAS meetings), all of which are paid for by the program.
The kinds of educators we are looking for are those who already know the basics of astronomy, and are interested in learning exactly how astronomy research is conducted. If you know of any interested educators, I would really appreciate it if you could relay this information!
The application instructions and place to upload your completed application are both here: https://cat.ipac.caltech.edu/nitarp and the deadline for applications is Sep 24, 3pm Pacific time.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
thanks, LuisaBack to top.
5. POPA Seeking Suggestions
From: WIPHYS for Aug. 10, 2010
For two decades the APS Council has authorized the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) to study topics ranging from energy and environment to national security. APS members may submit ideas for future studies and reports. Submit your suggestions at http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/suggestions/index.cfmBack to top.
6. Call for Nominations - 2011 Alan T. Waterman Award
From: WIPHYS for Aug. 10, 2010
The Alan T. Waterman Award is the highest honor awarded by the National Science Foundation. Since 1975, when Congress established the award to honor the agency's first director, the annual award has been bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to place them at the forefront of their peers.
The annual award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a grant of $500,000 over a three year period for scientific research or advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, social or other sciences at the institution of the recipient's choice.
Deadline is October 30, 2010. Full information is available at http://www.nsf.gov/od/waterman/waterman.jspBack to top.
7. Volunteers Needed for Virtual Classroom Visits
From: WIPHYS for Aug. 10, 2010
Using existing technology available through an internet-based videophone service, the Virtual Scientist Guest Lecture Series will arrange for scientists to participate in a "virtual" in-classroom visit without leaving their lab or research facility. The program allows both scientists and students to experience an interactive dialogue that inspires and engages students about dynamic cutting edge science research. The technology requirements are minimal, requiring only that each participant (i.e. school and scientist) have a computer with high-speed internet access, a high quality monitor, webcam, speakers and microphone. Sign up to volunteer at http://www.ssrvideo.com/virtualscientist.htmlBack to top.
8. 2 PostDoc & 1 PhD position on Exoplanet characterization MPIA
From: Lisa Kaltenegger [lkaltene_at_cfa.harvard.edu]
OPEN: 2 PostDoc amp; 1 PhD position on Exoplanet characterization MPIA http://members.aas.org/JobReg/JobDetailPage.cfm?JobID=26595
send application to: lkalteneATcfa.harvard.edu (Sept. 15 2010+)
Job Description: The Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) Heidelberg is seeking a number of highly motivated, qualified and curious postdoctoral researchers in the field of exoplanet characterization in the new cross-disciplinary group of Lisa Kaltenegger on one of the following areas: atmospheric chemistry of extrasolar planets, planetary interiors and outgassing, Super-Earth observations with ground- and space-based telescopes and theoretical studies of habitability and biomarkers. 2 or more positions will be available starting Oct 2010. Working language of the group is English.
Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, planetary science, or a related field. The appointments will be for up to a total of 3 years. Opportunities for research visits at Harvard University/CfA are part of these appointments.
Candidates should send a pdf file containing their application materials, including CV, publication list and a brief statement of research interests to lkaltene_at_cfa.harvard.edu by Sept. 15 2010. 3 letters of reference should be sent separately to the same e-mail address. Applications after Sept 15 will be considered until positions are filled. Positions are available staring October 2010 but may be delayed for up to 9 months for exceptional candidates.
The "Extrasolar Planet Characterization" group at MPIA is a cross-disciplinary endeavor, pursuing a wide range of astrophysical and planetary science research, encompassing observing programs, instrument development and theoretical modeling. Collaboration with other research groups at MPIA, e.g. Star and Planet Formation, imaging and spectroscopy at LBT/VLT, instrument development teams for ELT/JWST as well as planetary science research departments at the University of Heidelberg is encouraged.
Included Benefits: The MPIA provides funds for computing, publications, travel, etc. Benefits include health insurance for you and your dependents. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women, disabled people and minority groups are particularly welcome. The MPIA supports its employees in their search for suitable child care, VISA issues etc.Back to top.
9. Joliot-Curie Fellowship for Women
From: WIPHYS for Aug. 10, 2010
The Faculty of Science at the Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) is pleased to offer several tenure track fellowships to talented young women with outstanding potential in the field of physics and astronomy. Fellows are encouraged to launch their own independent research program at one of the faculty's research institutes and are expected to publish in high-profile journals, attract their own external funding and contribute to the teaching programs.
There are also several exciting positions available with the American Physical Society. Check them out at
And find more jobs at the APS Career Center at http://careers.aps.orgBack to top.
10. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
[Please remember to replace "" in the below e-mail addresses.]
To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomenaas.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.
11. 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.