Issue of November 16, 2012
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, and Nick Murphy
This week's issues:
1. CSWA Mourns the Passing of One of Its Own
From: Joan Schmelz, Chair, CSWA [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]
It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent death of Wallace Sargent of Caltech. Among his many other honors and positions, Wal was a two-term CSWA member (1998-01; 2007-10).
The AAS homepage article reminds us that Wal served as AAS Vice-President from 2004 to 2007 and was honored with the AAS's prestigious Henry Norris Russell Lectureship in 2001. Wal gave his prize lecture, "The Distribution and Origin of Heavy Elements at High Redshifts," at our 199th meeting in Washington, DC, in January 2002. He had earlier won the Society's Helen B. Warner Prize for a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy by an early-career astronomer (1969) and the joint AAS/AIP Dannie Heineman Prize for outstanding work in the field of astrophysics by a mid-career astronomer (1991). Wal was best known for his studies of galaxies, galaxy clusters, and quasar absorption lines. In addition, Wal received the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1994 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005.
The members of CSWA extend our sympathies to Wal s family, friends, colleagues, and students. He will be greatly missed.Back to top.
2. Diversity of Career Routes: A Request
From: CSWA & the AAS Employment Committee
We are working to provide a series of blog posts highlighting the full range of career routes that astronomers pursue after their degree. If you have recommendations for people we should contact who obtained at least a masters degree in astronomy and are now in a non-academic career, please send email to Laura Trouille at (l-trouille_at_northwestern.edu) with their name and email address. We are especially interested in highlighting women, but are open to all suggestions.Back to top.
3. Women in Astronomy Blogspot
This week on the Women in Astronomy blog, Laura Trouille provides advice about negotiating and Nicolle Zellner talks about how to deal with (student) harassment.
- Negotiation is a Dialogue: Compiled Advice by Laura Trouille This post was inspired by the following paragraph from a Chronicle article:
If you're like most academics, you either negotiate a job offer poorly, or you don't negotiate at all. The cost to you of failing to negotiate your first faculty position can be significant. Here's just one example: Miranda, a recent Ph.D. in the social sciences, negotiated a 6 percent increase in salary over what her new department initially offered her, from $49,000 a year to $52,000. If we assume she enjoys a 30-year career and receives annual raises of 3 percent, the extra salary that she negotiated (just $3000 more) would translate into an additional $143,000 over what she would have earned without negotiating. [...]
- Dealing with (Student) Harassment by Nicolle Zellner
A recent post by Christina Richey on the Women in Planetary Science blog highlighted some really good examples of what harassment is and how to deal with it. It reminded me that women are more likely to face harassment at all levels and made me think that we don't always realize we are being harassed. [...]
To read more on these blogs, please see http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.comBack to top.
4. Panel addresses gender bias in sciences
From: Yale Daily News, Nov. 9, 2012
[The panel included Dr. Meg Urry, well-known for her advocacy for women in astronomy -- eds.]
Yale study showing a significant bias against women in the sciences continues to make waves across the world of academia.
The paper, written by Yale faculty and published in the October issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was discussed at a panel hosted by Women in Science at Yale Thursday night in Davies Auditorium. Drawing over 100 audience members from across the Yale community, panelists discussed the findings of the study, which showed that male candidates were preferred by science faculty members of both genders.
Full story atBack to top.
5. Why Old Female Science Professors Should Blog
From: SpotOn London 2012
A blog post by the Female Science Professor, continuing the discussion from yesterday's SpotOnLondon Women in Science Session.
Perhaps you routinely spend time reading science blogs, including the academic life sorts of blogs written by students, postdocs, professors and others. If so, you are probably a relatively young person; by young, I mean younger than middle-aged me. Perhaps you have your own blog. If so, you are even more likely to be younger than I am. Why do relatively few mid-career and senior STEM researchers blog about their careers? Do we have less time than younger people? No, I don't believe that (and I am sure you don't either). Most of us are extremely busy, just in different ways as we progress through different career and life stages.
Are we older scientists confused by blogs and blog-culture, thinking that we would have to write words like "interwebz" and acronyms like "FWIWIMHO" in order to have a blog?Back to top.
6. Conversation about graduate mentoring
From: Nancy Morrison [nmorris_at_utnet.utoledo.edu]
From the November-December 2012 issue of American Scientist: "Mentor vs. Monolith: Finding and being a good graduate advisor," by Mohamed Noor and Caiti Heil
'Prof. Mohamed Noor and Ph.D. student Caiti Heil agreed to work together on an American Scientist essay about graduate mentoring. They independently framed outlines and brought them together for a first meeting. Mohamed's essay was more focused on being a mentor and less on choosing one, whereas Caiti's was more focused on how to choose and work with a mentor without much detail about what makes a mentor successful. As a result, they have chosen this non-standard "conversational" format for conveying their thoughts.'
To read more [HTML version free]: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/num2/2012/6/mentor-vs-monolithBack to top.
7. Fine Men, Sexist Pigs
From: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein [firstname.lastname@example.org]
This was pointed out to me by a former student who is now studying physics at McGill: http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2012/10/fine-men-sexist-pigs
I don't think McGill is particularly special on this front, of course. I think these kinds of behaviors are wide spread. It's important to recognize that "old foggies" are not the only problem when it comes to sexism in physics and physics-related areas .Back to top.
8. Lack of Women in Science Workshops on how to Succeed in Academia?
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]
I ran across this recently: http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2012/10/off-topic.html
which discusses the lack of women in science workshops on how to succeed in academia, rather than leave it. I agree we need to highlight non-academic careers, but perhaps we need to think about showcasing women in successful academic careers as well?Back to top.
9. Carl Sagan: "If membership is restricted to men, the loss will be ours."
From: The Planetary Society (blog)
[...] While I was reading my news feeds Friday morning it occurred to me to ask the question: what were his opinions on feminism? And my searches led to this letter, on the terrific "Letters of Note" website. Sagan wrote the letter, in 1981, to convince the leadership of the hitherto all-male Explorers Club to begin admitting women to its ranks. I read the whole thing at the Slam; follow the link to read it for yourself. Here is an excerpt:Back to top.
10. Scientista Foundation to Address Gender Discrimination in STEM
From: The Harvard Crimson [www.thecrimson.com]
This winter, the Harvard group will raise awareness of continued gender discrimination through a series of blog posts. In an effort to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the foundation is currently working to bring together anonymous stories from female scientists.Back to top.
11. L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women In Science
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]
The L'Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science program announces the 2013 call for applications.
The L'Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science program is a national awards program that annually recognizes and rewards five U.S.-based women researchers at the beginning of their scientific careers. Recipients each receive up to $60,000 that must put towards their postdoctoral research.Back to top.
12. 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
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When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting.
Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.Back to top.
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