AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of May 15, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer
This week's issues:
1. Statement affirming respectful debate during current TMT protests
From: Christina Richey via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/
[This post was submitted to the Women in Astronomy blog by leaders on diversity issues from within the AAS community. There has also been a statement from AAS President Meg Urry.]
The last few weeks have brought to a head a confrontation between Native Hawaiian protesters and the Thirty Meter Telescope project. There are varied perspectives on all sides of this issue, amongst supporters and opponents, Hawaiians and mainlanders, astronomers and the general public, and all intersections of these groups. Events associated with the protests, including some cases of violence or threats of violence, have created significant divisions within our community, divisions which have manifested themselves in heated debates and discussions both in person and over social media.
Unfortunately, recent rhetoric in our community has crossed the line into racism and hostility, with language (e.g., describing Native Hawaiian protestors as a "horde" or other people of color as "snakes") that dehumanizes individuals who oppose the placement of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna a Wakea. This language is a painful reminder of past acts of violence perpetrated against native people and others, and only serves to inflame rather than bring about understanding and resolution. In many cases, apologies have been issued, and these have been appreciated. Still, that this language was used in the first place by highly esteemed members of our community is troubling, because the effects linger, are particularly harmful to junior researchers and students, and create an environment of hostility and exclusion.
While our community (including signers of this statement) may have varying opinions on the Thirty Meter Telescope issue, our call here is for astronomers to behave with respect in their discussions and communications, both with each other and with the public.
To read more, please see
Statement from AAS President Meg UrryBack to top.
2. Diversity 101: Nine Simple Steps to a More Diverse Astronomical Community
From: Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/
Visit this Women in Astronomy blog post to learn about:
* Mentoring Women: advice from Joan Schmelz, Program Officer at NSF, Physics Professor at the University of Memphis, Chair of CSWA, and soon-to-be Deputy Director of Arecibo Observatory
* Mentoring Minorities: advice from Dara Norman, Research Astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Visiting Faculty Fellow at Howard University, AAS Council Member, and Alum of CSMA
* Mentoring LGBTIQ Students: advice from Van Dixon, Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and Chair of WGLE
To read more, please seeBack to top.
3. The Family Friendly Faculty Retreat
From: David Charbonneau via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/
Does your department or research group undertake an annual retreat? If so, is it family friendly?
Retreats offer the chance to break from the routines and confines of day-to-day work to gather as a group to consider the Big Questions facing an institution. In my view, an essential part of an effective retreat is that it be away from the office, and that it span at least one overnight.
I know of several physical science departments for which the "retreat" consists of a full-day meeting at their workplace. But I worry that in the temporal and physical space that houses our day-to-day work, it is all-too-easy to fall back on day-to-day thinking.
To read more, please seeBack to top.
4. Survey for LGBT+ Physicists and Physics Students
From: Arlene Knowles via APS Women in Physics Group
Researchers at the American Physical Society and University of Michigan are interested in the campus and workplace climate for LGBT+ physicists. By filling out this questionnaire you will help us find ways to better support LGBT+ physicists. Make your best estimate for each item and answer as many questions as possible. Thank you for your help.
To take the survey, please visitBack to top.
5. Job Opportunities
For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:
- Postdoctoral Associate with the Micro-X Sounding Rocket, Northwestern University https://inspirehep.net/record/1365224
- Imaging Processing Technician/Scientist, Caltech https://jobs.caltech.edu/postings/3010Back to top.
6. 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.
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
Join AAS Women List by email:
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8. Access to Past Issues
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.