Issue of April 4, 2014
eds: Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner
This week's issues:
1. Negotiating While Being a Woman
From: Hannah Jang-Condell via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
Negotiation is a fraught topic for women. We are unused to asking for things, and when we do, we are likely to be punished for it, so no wonder we don't ask in the first place.
A recent case in point was highlighted here, where a candidate was given a tenure track offer, and when she tried to negotiate, the offer was withdrawn. Now, granted, this was in philosophy rather than astronomy, but it's still pretty alarming.
There's been a bunch of internet chatter about whether or not she should have negotiated to begin with or whether she did it the right way or the wrong way on Slate, Forbes, and even the New York Times. And if you read the comments on the Inside Higher Ed post (pro-tip: never read the comments) several people condemn the negotiator as being "a difficult colleague" or "delusional." To read more, please seeBack to top.
2. Build a Smarter Group from Scratch: Converse Equitably, Add Women, Stir
From: Sarah Ballard via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
To work in astronomy is now to work in teams. A recent PNAS study reported that the average team size associated with a single publication grew from 1.5 in 1961-1965, to 6.7 in 2006-2010 (Milojević 2014). However, much of the dialog about the nature of intelligence is still focused upon single individuals. Though the conception of a person’s intelligence as a fixed quantity is fraught at best (see this summary by J. Johnson), it’s often the only way we conceive of intelligence at all. What is the nature of the intelligence of a group? What quantities are predictive of it, if any? It is now groups of individuals who publish new ideas in our field. To ask about group intelligence is now to ask: “How are units of knowledge produced?”
A study in Science by Woolley et al. (2010) investigated this question. They define group intelligence in the following way. A metric for group intelligence should (a) reflect “how well a single group can perform a wide range of different tasks”, and (b) “predict how that same group will perform other tasks in the future” (Woolley et al. 2010). We measure the intelligence of individuals with similar assumptions. As you read this article on the Women in Astronomy blog, please pause here. What are the quantities you predict will reflect group intelligence? Is it the intelligence of the “smartest” individual, who might direct the group well? Is the mean intelligence of the individuals? Perhaps the intelligence of the “least intelligent” individual is correlated with the intelligence of a group. I will posit here, as my own hypothesis, that most astronomers assume that one of the first two metrics will be predictive.
To read more, please seeBack to top.
3. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and the AAS Employment Committee have compiled dozens of interviews highlighting the diversity of career trajectories available to astronomers. The interviews share advice and lessons learned from individuals on those paths.
Below is our interview with Neil Gehrels, an astronomer turned Chief of NASA Goddard's Astroparticle Physics Laboratory. He loves his job, is very satisfied with his work-life balance, and finds his work environment to be very family friendly. If you have questions, suggestions, advice to share, etc. about this career path, please leave a comment below.
To read more, please seeBack to top.
4. Astronomy and gender politics: In space and academia, Meg Urry pushes the envelope
From: Johanna Teske [jkteske_at_email.arizona.edu]
Fantastic profile of soon-to-be-AAS President Dr. Meg Urry traces her path into her current career, detailing her efforts to promote women in astronomy, including the Baltimore Charter (first big Women in Astronomy Conference). This profile is impressive but honest, and provides a good summary of both Dr. Urry's scientific and (academic) social contributions to the field. I am so very much looking forward to her AAS presidency!
Astronomy and gender politics In space and academia, Meg Urry pushes the envelope. By Richard PanekBack to top.
5. LadyParagons Interview with Jessica Kirkpatrick, Director of Data Science at InstaEDU
From: Jessica Kirkpatrick [berkeleyjess_at_gmail.com]
By Sarah Worsham
"Jessica Kirkpatrick is the Director of Data Science for an education tech company called InstaEDU. InstaEDU offers on-demand, online tutoring for high school and college students. She helps people in her company make decisions and improve the experience for their students and tutors by analyzing the data that is collected through their website. Jessica has a PhD in Astrophysics and spent many years studying dark energy in the cosmos before switching careers to data science. Jessica is also the Blogger-in-Chief for Women in Astronomy as part of her membership of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee for the Status of Women in Astronomy. As blogger-in-chief she manages and edits the posts from their eight regular contributors and guest bloggers. She regularly writes blog posts for Women in Astronomy and Astrobetter about Women in STEM, the tech industry, and best practices for coding and data visualization. Jessica shares her story and insights with us…."
To read the full interview, please seeBack to top.
6. Job Opportunities
For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:
* Instructor (academic year, non-tenure track), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University. Please see www.nau.edu/hr and position number 600792 for full position announcement.Back to top.
7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send an 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.
8. 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:
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9. Access to Past Issues
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.