Friday, December 6, 2019

AASWomen Newsletter for December 6, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 6, 2019
eds: JoEllen McBride, Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, and Alessandra Aloisi


This week's issues:

1. Career Profiles: Geochemist to Planetary Scientist 
2. Meet Your CSWA Intern, Rachel Wexler 
3. Cross-post: Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome 
4. New NASA Postdoctoral Program Policy Helps level Playing Field
5. Conference for Undergraduate Women in Astronomy (CUWiA) at West Virginia University  
6. Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics 2020
7. L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship
8. The context of diversity   
9. At NASA, 2019 was the year of the woman, yet women still are a big minority at the space agency 
In Terminator: Dark Fate, Linda Hamilton plays Sarah Connor
as an older woman, a demographic that’s rare in sci-fi novels.
Credit: Kerry Brown/Paramount/Everett Collection
10. Women from ethnic minorities least likely to be offered speaking opportunities at scientific conferences
11. A message for mentors from dissatisfied graduate students
12. Working Scientist podcast: Too many PhDs, too few research positions
13. Working Scientist podcast: It's time to fix the "one size fits all" PhD
14. Space ageing: why sci-fi novels shun the badass older woman 
15. Job Opportunities
16. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
17. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
18. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

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1. Career Profiles: Geochemist to Planetary Scientist
From: Katie Eckert via womeninaastronomy.blogspot.com

Below is our interview with Dr. Amy Riches, a freelance scientist whose work has the goal of unmasking the magmatic and interior compositions, origins, and evolutionary chapters of asteroids formed over 4.5 billion years ago, as well as Mars and the Earth-Moon system. As a broad-based petrologist and isotope cosmo/geochemist her studies generate coordinated mineral and 'bulk rock' data sets via frontline investigative approaches. The findings arising from these examinations of rocks from space are needed to resolve long-standing controversies concerning the origins of our habitable home world, as well as the search for habitable bodies elsewhere in the cosmos.

As part of her wider contributions to the scientific community, Amy enjoys driving inclusive activities such as scientific meetings and edited volumes that have advocated for and stimulated new multidisciplinary directions of study at international levels.

Read more at


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2. Meet Your CSWA Intern, Rachel Wexler
From: JoEllen McBride via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com
Rachel Wexler is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. She will graduate in spring 2020 and continue studying at Georgia Tech to earn a master’s degree in public policy. Throughout her time at Tech, she has worked as a research assistant on a project that examines the transmission of knowledge about women in science and technology. Rachel is originally from Sanibel Island, Florida. She is currently leading the CSWA's write up of recommendations to the AAS based on our survey findings.

Read more at


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3. Cross-post: Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
From: JoEllen McBride via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

by UW Health

At work, are you afraid colleagues might find out you’re not as capable as they may think? Do you feel like any praise you receive for success is because people are just trying to be nice, not because you actually deserve it? Rather than celebrating increased responsibilities or promotions, do they instead cause anxiety because – in your mind – now you’ll have to work even harder to keep them from learning the truth about your abilities?

Here’s a secret – a lot of people feel that way. …  And there is a term for it – imposter syndrome.

Read more at


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4. New NASA Postdoctoral Program Policy Helps level Playing Field
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzeller_at_albion.edu]

"More than 200 NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellows at NASA Centers and institutions from coast to coast will now have the opportunity to continue receiving stipends during time away from work beginning immediately thanks to a new policy. This is a major improvement over the old procedure, where stipends stopped while the fellows were absent from their posts."

Read more at


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5. Conference for Undergraduate Women in Astronomy (CUWiA) at West Virginia University 
From: Olivia Young [wvucuwia_at_gmail.com]

The inaugural Conference for Undergraduate Women in Astronomy (CUWiA) was held at West Virginia University (WVU) on November 1-3, 2019.  Fifty-eight women undergraduate students attended, representing 21 colleges and universities in 10 states (CT, FL, GA, MA, MD, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV) [and included a] keynote address by the groundbreaking scientist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Read more at


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6. Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics 2020
From: Pascale Garaud [pgaraud_at_soe.ucsc.edu]

The Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics is now inviting applications to the 2020 summer program, which will be hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Physics (Goettingen), on the subject of the "Fluid Dynamics of the Sun and Stars", from June 15th-July 24th, 2020. We are particularly interested in applications from outstanding women in the field of solar and stellar physics, astrophysical, planetary and/or geophysical fluid dynamics, helio- or astero-seismology, at all levels (graduate, postdoc, faculty). 

The Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics is a 6-weeks graduate student training program, with 1 week of lectures, followed by 5 weeks of research during which graduate students perform research with postdocs and faculty in the field. Many graduate students participating in the program agree that their experience was a pivotal point of their career.

For more information, see 


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7. L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship
From: ForWomenInScience_at_us.loreal.com

Applications for the 2020 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program are now open and will close on Friday, January 31, 2020.

The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program honors female scientists at a critical stage in their careers with grants of $60,000 each. Since 2003, we’ve awarded 80 postdoctoral women scientists over $4 million in grants. We’re seeking five exceptional female scientists looking to advance their research and serve as role models for the next generation of girls in STEM.

Learn more and apply at


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8. The context of diversity
From: Alessandra Aloisi [aloisi_at_stsci.edu]

by Cato T. Laurencin

The term “diversity,” which came about in connection with the passage of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, has been expanding to include an ever-growing list of identities—from race, gender, and sexual orientation to physical appearance, belief systems, thought styles, socioeconomic status, and rural/urban geographic location, among others. This is a welcome extension of representation, but this added texture has a downside—it threatens to muddle targets and obscure actions when achieving diversity is the goal.

Read more at


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9. At NASA, 2019 was the year of the woman, yet women still are a big minority at the space agency
From: JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

By Christian Davenport 

"At NASA, 2019 could be called the year of the woman. In October, astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir completed the first all-female spacewalk. Koch also is on her way toward 328 days aboard the International Space Station — the longest single space mission by a woman.

But for all the high-profile appointments and record-breaking feats, women remain an overwhelming minority among the rank and file at NASA and in the wider industry. Women make up only about a third of NASA’s workforce. They comprise just 28 percent of senior executive leadership positions and are only 16 percent of senior scientific employees, according to a survey done by the agency."

Read more at


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10. Women from ethnic minorities least likely to be offered speaking opportunities at scientific conferences
From: Alessandra Aloisi [aloisi_at_stsci.edu] and JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

‘A new study from Queen Mary University of London has found that scientists from racial and ethnic minority populations, already underrepresented in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), are likely to have relatively fewer speaking opportunities at scientific conferences.”

Read more at


Read the original study at

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11. A message for mentors from dissatisfied graduate students
From: JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

By Chris Woolston

"Many graduate students have discovered that not all mentors can devote much time to the job. In the survey, 49% of students reported spending less than an hour one-to-one with their supervisor each week (see ‘Brief encounters’). “That’s a shocking figure,” Williams says. Although some students can probably thrive on that amount, or on even less, most could benefit from more direct guidance and attention, she says. She speaks from personal experience; her own highly accomplished PhD adviser didn’t have the time to build a strong connection. “He called me by the wrong name in the middle of my PhD,” she says. “That was a low point.”"

Read more at


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12. Working Scientist podcast: Too many PhDs, too few research positions
From: JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

"Students need to be clear about their reasons for pursuing a PhD and the career options open to them, Julie Gould discovers."

I would argue that PhD programs should prepare students and postdocs for careers outside of academia as well.   

Listen to the podcast at


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13. Working Scientist podcast: It's time to fix the "one size fits all" PhD
From: JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

By Julie Gould

"Julie Gould asks six higher education experts if it's now time to go back to the drawing board and redesign graduate programmes from scratch."

Listen to the podcast at


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14. Space ageing: why sci-fi novels shun the badass older woman
From: JoEllen McBride [joellen.mcbride_at_gmail.com]

By Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

"Over the past century, women in the real world have been increasingly likely to become researchers, doctors and engineers. Indeed, most fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics now recruit a growing proportion of women. But women are still under-represented among senior scientists, owing to the ‘leaky pipeline’ — they leave the field disproportionately in response to systemic bias.

And science fiction has magnified that issue. Rather than countering bias against ageing women, sci-fi writers seem more interested in making them young again — even expediting the rejuvenation process by casting it as a modern convenience akin to jet packs and replicators. Yet again, only a few of the novels I found featuring technological fountains of youth include old women."

Read more at


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15. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: https://aas.org/comms/cswa/resources/Diversity  
  
- Head of Instrumentation, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ

- Visiting Assistant Professor, Albion College, Albion, MI

- Post-doc Position, Astronomy Education, University of Maine at Orono

- Post-doc Position, Exoplanets, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

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16. 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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17. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

Send an email to aaswomen_at_aas.org. A list moderator will add your email to the list. They will reply to your message to confirm that they have added you.

Join AAS Women List through the online portal:

Go to https://lists.aas.org/postorius/lists/aaswlist.lists.aas.org and enter the email address you wish to subscribe in the ‘Your email address’ field. You will receive an email from ‘aaswlist-confirm’ that you must reply to. There may be a delay between entering your email and receiving the confirmation message. Check your Spam or Junk mail folders for the message if you have not received it after 2 hours.

To unsubscribe from AAS Women by email:

Send an email to aaswlist-leave_at_lists.aas.org from the email address you wish to remove from the list. You will receive an email from ‘aaswlist-confirm’ that you must reply to which will complete the unsubscribe.

Leave AAS Women or change your membership settings through the online portal:

Go to https://lists.aas.org/accounts/signup to create an account with the online portal. After confirming your account you can see the lists you are subscribed to and update your settings.

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18. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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