Friday, November 22, 2013

AASWOMEN Newsletter for November 22, 2013

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of November 22, 2013
eds: Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner

This week's issues:

1. Professional Development at the 2014 Winter AAS Meeting
2. I am sorry this blog post is late
3. Sponsorship: the New Hammer to Crack the Glass Ceiling
4. Women Who Changed Modern American Science
5. Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s Talk at CERN
6. Something about STEM drives women out
7. Diversity in Science   
8. Women Score Lower Than Men on Physics Assessments – Except in This Kind of Classroom
9. HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program
10.  GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls
11. Job Opportunities
12. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
14. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

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1. Professional Development at the 2014 Winter AAS Meeting
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The number of professional development opportunities at the annual AAS meeting seems to grow every year. And the upcoming January meeting is no exception. This year’s conference features workshops, panel discussions, and talks on everything from Python programming to interviewing skills to changing demographics to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

To see a list of the career and skills development sessions, please see


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2. I am sorry this blog post is late
From:  David Charbonneau via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

I am sorry this blog post is late. I meant to post it Monday. Yes, the blog is important! But I think my daughter might have lice and I had to deal with that urgently.

I am sorry I can't accept the invitation to speak at the conference. Yes, I do want the meeting to be a success.  But we have four children and the family simply doesn't do well when I am away.

I am sorry that I can't write a letter in support of the promotion. Yes, the candidate is doing great work, and I feel terrible that I can't add my enthusiastic support to assist this junior person. But I get 25 such requests a year, and my weekends are full with math homework, hockey, and girl scouts.

To read more, please see


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3. Sponsorship: the New Hammer to Crack the Glass Ceiling
From:  Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

My recent posts on Unconscious Bias include a personal story, the legacy of patriarchy, schemas, and studies from sociology. You can probably tell that it is a subject that interests me greatly. Therefore, I was delighted to find an article in Sunday’s Washington Post that sheds new light on our biases as well as the importance of “Sponsorships,” which are different from “Mentorships” in ways that are vital to promotion and success.

To read more, please see


To read more of the interview with Kent Gardiner, please see


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4.  Women who Changed Modern American Science
From:  Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The Boston meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February, 2013, included a session on the history of women in science. This article summarizes the presentation by Margaret Rossiter, which was entitled “Thirty Women Who Changed American Science, 1970–2010” and was based on the third in her series of books, Women Scientists in America. It described the changes these women wrought, not by means of scientific research, but rather by means of political and legal activity. Every woman who began a career in science in the 1970’s and later owes them a great debt.

To read more, please see


This article, written by Nancy Morrison, also appears in the June 2013 issue of Status.

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5. Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s Talk at CERN
From: David Anderson [danderson_at_albion.edu]

As part of CERN’s program on diversity, Jocelyn Bell Burnell recently presented information on the status of women in astronomy. She gives a nice summary of the numbers of women in astronomy in countries around the world and presents her conclusions about these data.

To listen to this talk and see the presentation slides, please see


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6. Something about STEM drives women out
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

In the December issue of Social Forces, Sharon Sassler, a professor of policy analysis and management, and her colleagues report that, since women leave STEM careers before they get married or have children, there is “something unique about the STEM climate that results in women leaving.”

To read more about how the authors interpreted the results of a longitudinal survey, please see


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7. Diversity in Science      
From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Using Marie Curie’s birthday as a time to reflect on the status of women in science, Ivy Kupec has written a nice summary article. It sheds light on Curie’s life and also describes some progress in the number of girls in high school physics classes, the number of women faculty in physics departments, and the number of women in leadership positions at the National Science Foundation.

To read more, please see


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8. Women Score Lower Than Men on Physics Assessments – Except in This Kind of Classroom
From: WIPHYS, November 11, 2013

In an upcoming Physics Review article, authors A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre report on their recent study of how young men and women perform on standardized tests and specifically, on physics concept inventories.  While they found that women consistently scored lower than men in both the pre- and post- tests, the authors report that “the performance of both men and women is improved when they experience an interactive classroom.”

To read more about this study, please see


See also


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9. HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program
From: WIPHYS, November 11, 2013

As part of a series to promote the importance of encouraging young girls to enter STEM disciplines, the Huffington Post offers two recent articles.  “Be a Verb” and “Closing the STEM Gender Gap” describe why it is important to encourage young girls to study STEM and what we can do to mentor them. 

To read more of these personal anecdotes, please see


and


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10. GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]

Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineer, has designed “a construction toy + book series starring Goldie, the kid inventor who loves to build.”  With women making up just 11% of engineers, her motivation in creating “GoldieBlox” was to “inspire girls the way Legos and Erector sets have inspired boys, for over 100 years, to develop an early interest and skill set in engineering.”

To learn about the founder's motivations for starting the company (and her pitch for funding), please see


To watch the clever video promoting the new game, please see


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11.  Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: http://www.aas.org/cswa/diversity.html#howtoincrease

-          Postdoctoral Position in Exoplanet Research, Wesleyan University

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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

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.

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13. 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)

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14. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.