Issue of January 11, 2013
eds. Caroline Simpson, Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, and Nick Murphy
This week's issues:
1. Child-friendly Sabbaticals
From: Hanna via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
I'm the kind of gal who likes to plan for the long haul. This is part of why being a postdoc was so wearing, because I could never plan more than a couple of years in advance. Now that I have a tenure track position, I can daydream about things like getting tenure, sending my kids off to college, retiring someday... Okay, maybe not retirement quite yet.
Anyway, it occurred to me the other day, that someday I might want to go on sabbatical somewhere. But how would that work, given my family situation?
To read more, please seeBack to top.
2. [More] On the Two-Body Problem
From: John Asher Johnson via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
In academia there is something called the "two-body problem." The original two-body problem involves the gravitational interaction between two massive bodies, e.g. a planet orbiting a star. This is a problem in the mathematical sense, as in something interesting about the universe that we would like to figure out. This classical two-body problem has a solution, but interestingly it is in the form of a transcendental equation that can only be solved numerically. But when done so, it looks like this..
Pretty nice, huh?
To read the rest, please seeBack to top.
3. African-Americans in Astronomy and Space
From: Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]
In celebration of Black History Month, Nick Greene compiled a sampling list of black history biographies in astronomy and space expiration, including links to pictures, books, and puzzles. To see this unique mix of men and women, please see:Back to top.
4. Men are from Earth, Women are from Earth
From: Nancy Morrison [NMorris_at_UTNet.UToledo.Edu]
Here is a very interesting press release on a forthcoming psychological study on gender differences, first seen in a tweet from UK science administrator Athene Donald (@AtheneDonald). This ties right in with an article in the forthcoming issue of our newsletter, STATUS.
'For decades, popular writers have entertained readers with the premise that men and women are so psychologically dissimilar they could hail from entirely different planets. But a new study shows that it's time for the Mars/Venus theories about the sexes to come back to Earth.
'From empathy and sexuality to science inclination and extroversion, statistical analysis of 122 different characteristics involving 13,301 individuals shows that men and women, by and large, do not fall into different groups. In other words, no matter how strange and inscrutable your partner may seem, their gender is probably only a small part of the problem.
'"People think about the sexes as distinct categories," says Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and a co-author on the study to be published in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "'Boy or girl?' is the first question parents are asked about their newborn, and sex persists through life as the most pervasive characteristic used to distinguish categories among humans."
'But the handy dichotomy often falls apart under statistical scrutiny, says lead author Bobbi Carothers, who completed the study as part of her doctoral dissertation at Rochester ...'
To read more:Back to top.
5. Girls Lead in Science Exam, but Not in the USA
From: Gerrit Verschuur [verschuur_at_aol.com]
Girls outperformed boys in more countries in a science test given to 15-year-old students in 65 countries but in the United States, the scores reverse. Cultural forces that keep girls away from scientific careers are strong in the USA, Britain, and Canada but far less so in Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. To read more, please see:
Another perspective on the same topic, although more in-depth, can be found here:Back to top.
6. Barriers to STEM for Underrepresented Student
From: Caroline Smpson [simpson_at_fiu.edu]
Here is an anecdotal (although, first-hand) article that provides concrete examples of known barriers to STEM for underrepresented high school students:Back to top.
7. Advancement of Graduate Studies in Chemistry
From: Daryl Haggard [dhaggard_at_northwestern.edu]
James Ulvestad, NSF, suggests this study on graduate education in chemistry may be of considerable interest to the AAS. Many parallels can be found to the trends and issues seen in astronomy, as well as a number of suggested actions. To read the report, please see:Back to top.
8. Want to Host the Next Undergraduate Women in Physics Conference?
From: Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]
Applications are due next week for institutions interested in hosting one of the next Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP). The conferences are held over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend in mid-January of following years. Institutions can apply to host either the 2014 or 2015 conference.
To learn more and to apply, please seeBack to top.
9. Media Training at the 2013 APS March Meeting
From: WIPHYS February 6, 2013
A media workshop titled "Distilling Your Message" includes instruction and practice in clear, oral communication. The workshop also includes knowing your audience and avoiding jargon and emphasizing meaning rather than technicalities. Training is tentatively scheduled form 3 to 6 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 17, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Following the workshop, opportunities for writing op-eds and, possibly, taping video science stories will be available.
To participate, email Tawanda Johnson by Feb. 8 at tjohnson_at_aps.org.Back to top.
10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
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Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.Back to top.
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12. Access to Past Issues
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.