Friday, December 6, 2013

AASWomen Newsletter for December 6, 2013

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 6, 2013
eds: Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner

This week's issues:

1. Perhaps You Should Consider Wearing Racier Clothing
2. Why So Few? Scientific Workforce
3. Evaluating a Diversity Research Program
4. ADVICE: Responding to workplace (and other) bullies
5. Science: A Creative Outlet
6. Congratulations to the new AAAS Fellows!
7. Women’s Adventures in Science
8. Science Camps for Young People
9. Job Opportunities
10. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
12. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1.  Perhaps You Should Consider Wearing Racier Clothing
From: Hannah Jang-Condell via
[A] video, by Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop, has been making the internet rounds this week. Emily does a good job of summarizing some of the reasons why it's hard to find women role models in science. A lot of it boils down to the fact that women frequently get judged based solely on appearances, and that the feedback we got often has more to do with how "hot" or "sexy" we are rather than the content of our work.

To see the video and to read more from Hannah, please see

2.  Why So Few? Scientific Workforce
From: Joan Schmelz via

The 2010 report entitled, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), finds that women’s representation in the STEM workforce is uneven. In general, women’s overall representation has increased in [STEM] occupations since the 1960s; however, in 2000, although women were well represented among biological scientists, for instance, they made up a small minority of engineers.

To read more from this report and to see graphs showing the percentage of women in the different STEM disciplines, please see

3. Evaluating a Diversity Research Program
From: Sarah Schmidt via

The Pre-Major in Astronomy Program (Pre-MAP) at the University of Washington (UW) was designed to increase the number of under-represented students who chose to major in STEM fields. The main component of Pre-MAP is a seminar that gives freshman and first-year transfer students the chance to learn astronomy research methods and apply them to real projects. Students work closely with research mentors (graduate students, post-docs, or professors) and with each other.

To read more about this program, please see

4. ADVICE: Responding to workplace (and other) bullies
From:  Ed Bertschinger via

As previous blog entries have discussed, bullying behavior is a vexing problem in academic communities as it is in other environments.  Often bullying is an abuse of power, and the most vulnerable are those with the least power.  Conversely, when the bully is a powerful faculty member, even supervisors are frustrated in their efforts to change or block the behavior.  Ignoring a problem may have the effect of rewarding the bully, so intervention is highly desirable.  Changing behavior is very difficult, and academics are generally untrained in these matters. 

To learn about a few strategies, please see

5. Science: A Creative Outlet
From:  Eilat Glikman via

When I was a postdoc at Yale, I participated in a program intended to expose middle school girls to science via a hands-on approach that made science accessible and fun.  The program, Girls’ Science Investigations (GSI), brought middle-school girls to Yale four Saturdays a year to explore topics in science.  Some girls came because they were into science and wanted to get more of it, others came with school groups, others still were brought there by their parents as an enrichment activity.  So, while most of the girls were already science fans, there were many girls that were reluctant about the whole thing.  When I volunteered, I especially enjoyed speaking with the reluctant girls.  I wanted to find out why they weren’t interested in the activity.  What was it about science that turned them off?

One answer that I frequently heard was “I’m more of an arts person” or “I’m not a science person, I like writing and creative stuff”.  

To read more about how Dr. Glikman finds art in science, please see

6.  Congratulations to the new AAAS Fellows!
From: Karen Bjorkman [] and Nicolle Zellner []

Congratulations to the seven new AAAS fellows who do research in Astronomy, including Nancy Morrison and Meg Urry.  Dr. Morrison is a member of the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA), and Dr. Urry is a past chair of CSWA as well as President-Elect of the AAS. This year, 388 people were recognized for their accomplishments.

To read the AAAS press release, please see

To read the AAS press release, please see

7.  Women’s Adventures in Science
From: Matthew Greenhouse []

The National Academy of Sciences has developed a website to showcase ‘the accomplishments of contemporary women in science and to highlight for young people the varied and intriguing careers of some of today's most prominent scientists’. To that end, they have developed a list of books that may be interesting reads.

To find a list of these books, please see

8.  Science Camps for Young People
From: Michele Montgomery []

Objective Sciences International, an NGO, promotes the involvement of girls and young women in the sciences by hosting science camps for young people all over the world. At these camps, they conduct their own research project and can contribute new information to the field.

To learn more about these camps, please see

9. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:

-          Postdoctoral Position, Cosmic Magnetic Fields, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy

-          Postdoctoral Position, Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), Curtin University

-          Tenure-track Astronomy position, Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, CA

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12. Access to Past Issues

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