Issue of November 4, 2011
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson, and Michele Montgomery
This week's issues:
1. 1000+ Subscribers to AASWomen
Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]
Caroline [Simpson] just informed me that we now have 1073 subscribers to the AASWOMEN newsletter! This is the first time AASWOMEN has broken the 1000-subscriber barrier.
Welcome new subscribers!Back to top.
2. Repercussions for Sexual Harassment
From: Mark Postman [postman_at_stsci.edu]
How do we as a professional society deal with the infrequent, but very harmful, presence of repeat sexual harassers amongst our colleagues? This is a serious issue that has been the topic of CSWA discussion, driven by more than a few heart-wrenching emails and communications that have been received over the course of the past few years.
[To read Mark Postman's suggestions, please read his article from The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy in the latest AAS Newsletter which can be found atBack to top.
3. Offensive Article in Nature - Your Responses
From: Lucianne Walkowicz [l.m.walkowicz_at_gmail.com]
[The last issue of the AASWOMEN newsletter included a article in Nature from Ed Rybicki on Womanspace. One reader responded with a letter to the editor-in-chief of Nature -- eds.]
It was a pleasure meeting you at TEDGlobal. When we spoke in July, you asked me about the perception and role of Nature in the astrophysics community. I very much enjoyed our discussion, but unfortunately what has prompted my note to you today is a decidedly unpleasant update to my opinion on that topic.
Yesterday, a piece by Ed Rybicki entitled "Womanspace" was brought to my attention. In this story, Rybicki recounts an anecdote from his own life as a means to opine on his perceived differences between men and women. In just under 1000 words, he manages to cover a truly jaw-dropping number of sexist stereotypes, including but not limited to women being evolutionarily built for domestic chores, that the primary concerns of men are to debate heady theories while women shop for to-die-for shoes and husbands, and so on. Rybicki, in his response to the article comments, indicates that the intent of his article was to be harmless, funny and charming.
It is neither funny nor charming, and it is most certainly not harmless. What it is is an excellent example of the kind of unconscious bias that is not only difficult to eradicate, but has concrete, deleterious effects on the careers of women every day, not the least of them women in academia. That Rybicki knows a female academic (his wife) who enjoys his story is irrelevant-- the holders of sexist views come from both genders.
The fact that sexist stereotypes not only exist but pervade all corners of our lives is not a surprise-- a library's worth of shelves could be filled with the number of books and magazines that regularly appear to promote these ideas. Indeed, some of the biggest offenders are mainstream magazines actually targeted at women.
But you are not the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, you are the Editor-in-Chief of Nature, an academic journal devoted to the dissemination of scientific results. Surely you realize that the appearance of an article like this in a journal like yours gives the viewpoints set forth a legitimacy they do not warrant. As such, I cannot imagine what this piece is doing in the pages of your journal. Perhaps you can explain it to me, so that this article may become an opportunity for dialogue rather than a waste of space.
Sincerely, Lucianne WalkowiczBack to top.
4. APS/IBM Research Internships for Undergraduate Women
From: WIPHYS, October 27, 2011
APS and IBM co-sponsor a research internship program for undergraduate women. The goal is to encourage women students to pursue graduate studies in science and engineering. The internships are salaried positions typically 10 weeks long at one of three IBM research locations (San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, or Yorktown Heights, NY), and give the opportunity to work closely with an IBM mentor. For more information and to apply, please visit:Back to top.
5. SMART Scholarships for BS, MS, and PhD
From: WIPHYS, October 27, 2011
The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion. For more information and to apply, visit:Back to top.
6. Amelia Earhart Fellowship
From: Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]
Established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship is awarded annually to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences and aerospace-related engineering. Amelia Earhart Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, heads of companies, even Secretary of the US Air Force. Applications for the 2012 Fellowships must be received or post-marked by 15 November 2011 to be considered. For more information, please seeBack to top.
7. Women in Aerospace Scholarship
From: Matthew A. Greenhouse [matthew.a.greenhouse_at_nasa.gov]
At least one award of $1000 will be given to a rising senior in college, to be applied to the 2013-2014 academic year. Women undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in the aerospace field should check out the requirements to see if they are eligible to apply for this scholarship:Back to top.
8. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org
All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address.
Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.Back to top.
9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
To subscribe or unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter, please fill in the required information at:
If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.orgBack to top.
10. Access to Past Issues
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.