Issue of December 21, 2012
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, and Nick Murphy
This week's issues:
1. Bullying: How It Affects You
From: Anonymous via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
Joan Schmelz gave a wonderful talk at the Summer AAS in Anchorage, and I was so glad that a topic that certainly has impacted many people was on such prominent display. In fact, I almost wanted to email Joan and ask if she had heard about my experiences in particular, because it so well matched something I personally had gone through with a bully.
I am not sure if I am unique (I hope I am, but doubt it) in that I have had a chain of at least three bullies strung together in my young astronomy life. From a young hotshot professor who expected their new grad students to perform like postdocs, to a senior person in the field who took it as a personal affront (and went on a personal attack) when a student had a scientific disagreement with him/her, to a person going to my advisor and claiming that I was incompetent to do my own work without his/her having direct control over the science I was outputting. These incidents were daisy chained together: it seemed as if once I'd escaped one bully, another was waiting in the wings to take over. It got me asking many things, but firstly, was there something about me that attracted them to me as a target?
We as a community have a lot of work to do addressing bullying, and for now I have heard a lot of promising things said about policing the perpetrators, but my own experience made me think heavily about what we can do for the victims as well. I suspect that my previous experiences with others have left scars that, though not visible to most, are a bullseye on my back to future potential bullies.
To read more, please seeBack to top.
2. Invasion of Personal Space
From: Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
Has this ever happened to you? You are attending a professional conference, like the AAS meeting, and presenting a poster on your work. Someone comes to talk to you, but they stand too close. They might even touch your arm or shoulder as they talk. They have invaded your personal space!
To read more, please see
The Anti-Harassment Policy for Meetings and Activities of the AAS is available atBack to top.
3. Spotlight on Careers - Request for Feedback on Interview Questions
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
In 2013-14, we plan to provide a series of ~50 blog posts highlighting the full range of career routes that astronomers pursue after their degree. Thank you to all our readers who provided great recommendations for people we should contact!
If you have additional recommendations, please email me at l-trouille [at] northwestern.edu with the person's name and email address. We are especially interested in highlighting women, but are open to all suggestions.
We are now in the process of compiling questions to ask our interviewees. We would greatly appreciate your feedback on these questions and additional questions you recommend we include.
To read more, please seeBack to top.
4. An End-of-Semester (Check) List for Graduate Students
From: David Charbonneau via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
One element that I particularly enjoy about the business of exoplanets is the relative prominence of young researchers: It is a commonplace for the first author of an important new paper to be a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. So, that got me thinking that it might be helpful to share some straightforward professional development advice for graduate students.
Of course, given the subject of this blog I have my eye here particularly on advising women on how they might leverage their exciting research results toward broader professional success: At conferences I frequently encounter graduate student women who have stunning research promise but who could do more to increase the visibility of their work. Regardless, I hope this advice is of general use for all.
Most of the hours of the workday for a typical graduate student might be spent on the labor of research, namely the gathering and analysis of data, and the writing of papers. This post isn't about how to tackle this core task of graduate school: Instead, I wanted to share a quick check list of 3 professional development tips, particularly aimed a students in their first 3 years of graduate school:
To read more, please seeBack to top.
5. Childcare at January AAS meeting
From: Kelly Clark [kelly.clark_at_aas.org]
The AAS will provide childcare onsite during the meeting through the Kiddie Corps Service. Care will be available Sunday, 6 January 2013 through Thursday, 10 January 2013. The cost of care is per $8 hour.
The advance registration deadline has been extended to ***28 December 2012***.
For more information, please seeBack to top.
6. Upcoming in STATUS
From: Joannah Hinz [jhinz_at_as.arizona.edu]
Last summer Anne-Marie Slaughter's piece in the Atlantic magazine caused a huge stir in communities concerned with women in the workplace. Provocatively titled "Why Women Still Can't Have It All", the article offered a description of the sacrifices Slaughter made in order to meet the demands of her high-powered Washington-based career and argued that in many ways it was, essentially, not feasible in the long term. In the next issue of STATUS, graduate student Megan Reiter persuasively argues against this line of thinking, suggesting foremost that the question itself is ill-posed and represents a detrimental view of the work-life balance. Reiter takes a hard look at current family leave policies, detailing changes that could make such policies more inclusive, flexible and equitable. She also explains why changing the tone of conversations around family leave - and who is involved in those conversations - can make a huge difference not only to women, but to anyone wishing to m! aintain th e work-life balance they need to flourish.
[This is a preview for an article to be published in the January 2013 of STATUS -- eds.]Back to top.
7. Pitch in to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff and Cuts to STEM!
From: Daryl Haggard via AWIS in Action! December 2012
This is a good, short summary of what the fiscal cliff means for scientists, complete with suggestions for what you can do *right now*:Back to top.
8. Writing Unbiased Recommendation Letters
From: Nancy Morrison [nmorris_at_utnet.utoledo.edu]
In a recent discussion on how grad students and postdocs can fight unconscious bias in the course of their job searches, it came up that helpful hints on writing unbiased recommendation letters could be circulated by faculty members.
Here is a web page with some helpful strategies:Back to top.
9. The Hidden Giants (in response to "Where are all the Female Geniuses?")
From: Sethanne Howard [sethanneh_at_msn.com]
In response to where are all the geniuses who are women, I refer people to the book, The Hidden Giants. The 3rd edition is just out. In it you can find a large number of women who were geniuses from our past scientific history. All prior to Marie Curie. We were there in abundance.Back to top.
10. Job Opportunities
For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:Back to top.
11. 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.
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.
12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
Join AAS Women List by email:
Send email to aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have subscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like.
Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list)
To unsubscribe by email:
Send email to aawlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have UNsubscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like.
To join or leave AASWomen via web, or change your membership settings:
You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using
Google Groups Subscribe Help:Back to top.
13. Access to Past Issues
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.
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