Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Join the Women in Astronomy Blog Team!

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) is seeking volunteers from the community to join the Women in Astronomy blog team as writers and editors, to produce and share content that is relevant to women-identifying astronomers. Previous writing experience is not necessary. Team members will be responsible for producing an original blog post or cross-posting relevant articles once a month. They will work with the Blogger-in-Chief to brainstorm ideas, coordinate posts, and follow-up with projects that are in the works.

A time commitment of at least one year is desired. If you are interested, please fill out the form below. Members of the CSWA and the Women in Astronomy blogging team will contact you with the next steps.

https://forms.gle/t7oqEKnvsiijAime7

If you are interested in writing a one-time blog post, please send a short pitch (<300) words to wia-blog_at_lists.aas.org.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cross-post: Affecting Change in the Local and Global Astronomical Communities

By the Women in Astronomy Forum at STScI

Several members of the WIAF at a
virtual meeting in November 2020.
The Women in Astronomy Forum is a self-organized group of women scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute who have research time as a contractual agreement. We welcome cis-women, trans-women and non-binary people who feel comfortable in a space centered on the experiences of women. Our goals are to provide support and mentoring to others in the group, and to advocate for more inclusive and equitable practices both within the institute and more broadly in the astronomical community. In this article, we introduce ourselves and some of our recent initiatives, including: concrete recommendations to improve diversity in conferences, and specific guidelines for improving diversity on committees and activities coordinated by STScI, analysis of long-term trends in the astronomical work force, and unconscious bias in astronomy. We hope that other institutions can use these guidelines and recommendations to improve their own practices. We also hope that our experience can help others to form similar groups, and we offer some advice and resources through our website.

Read more at


Find useful resources at

Friday, December 18, 2020

AASWomen Newsletter for December 18, 2020

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 18, 2020
eds: Heather Flewelling, Nicolle Zellner, Maria Patterson, Jeremy Bailey, and Alessandra Aloisi

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. Career Profile: Astronomer to STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist 
2. Diversity Officer at STScI  
3. Astrotech Summer School 2021
4. Calendar of Women Scientists Who Made Nuclear Astrophysics 
5. ‘I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously’: Women With Ph.Ds Respond To Dr. Jill Biden Column
6. Better Letters: Equitable Practices for Writing, Reading, and Soliciting Letters of Recommendation 
7. Nature's 10 people who helped shape science in 2020 
8. Meet 5 Black researchers fighting for diversity and equity in science
9. The life-changing and long-lasting influence of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
10. Job Opportunities
11. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
13. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Career Profile: Astronomer to STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist

 The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is compiling 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 Regina Barber DeGraaff. Regina is a Mexican-Taiwanese-American, pop-culture-obsessed, astrophysicist, who teaches physics, astronomy, and science communication at WWU. Regina completed her PhD in physics at Washington State University in 2011, studying distant extragalactic globular clusters using the Hubble Space Telescope. Over five years ago Regina co-created and began to host the radio show (KMRE) & WWU podcast Spark Science. This talk show strives to humanize the scientist and make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) accessible. She also created the position of the STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist at WWU devoted to the retention and support of underrepresented students and faculty in STEM. Through all her efforts, Regina’s goal is to break apart the scientist stereotype so that anyone can see themselves in science.

To access our previous Career Profiles, please go to http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/search/label/career%20profiles

Friday, December 11, 2020

AASWomen Newsletter for December 11, 2020

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 11, 2020
eds: Heather Flewelling, Nicolle Zellner, Maria Patterson, Alessandra Aloisi, and Jeremy Bailin

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. Be well! --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. The Changing Face of the Nobel Prize

2. Department of Education investigating single-sex scholarships dedicated to encouraging women in science

3. STEM superstars call for more gender and cultural diversity

4. Hawaiian Women in STEM

5. Meet the Artemis Team

6. The New Face of an Old Nobel

7. Australia gets a national guide to help assess effectiveness of STEM initiatives

8. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

10. Access to Past Issues

An online version of this newsletter will be available at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Changing Face of the Nobel Prize

By Vanessa McCaffrey

In college, I told everyone that my goal in life was to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Particle Physics, in fact. Which was odd, because I was a chemistry major and had only taken the introductory physics required for my major. But no mind, winning the Nobel Prize was the ultimate goal in science and its glamour and prestige had captured my imagination. As I continued along in my education—earning my BS in chemistry, a PhD in physical organic and polymer chemistry, and now teaching at a Liberal Arts College—it became clear that my talents would not land me on the stage in Stockholm on any December 10th, but the allure of the Nobel Prize is still there. I teach a class on the Nobel Prize in the Sciences and help initiate a new generation of citizens into the stories, controversies, and science that make up this illustrious award.

Friday, December 4, 2020

AASWomen Newsletter for December 4, 2020

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell being painted by Stephen Shankland (from Item #4; credit: Chris Scott)
AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 4, 2020
eds: Heather Flewelling, Nicolle Zellner, Maria Patterson, Alessandra Aloisi, and Jeremy Bailin

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. Be well! --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. Cross-post: Extend the Tenure Clock to Save Careers of Rising Academic Women

2. What NASA missions can teach us about teamwork

3. I’m a Black Female Scientist. On My First Day of Work, a Colleague Threatened to Call the Cops on Me.

4. 'It'll upset a few fellows': Royal Society adds Jocelyn Bell Burnell portrait

5. Perceptions of stereotypes applied to women who publicly communicate their STEM work

6. Helen Magill White -- the first woman to earn a PhD in the United States

7. 2021 AAAS Fellows Recognized for Advancing Science

8. 2021 L’OrĂ©al USA For Women In Science Fellowship Program

9. Top Eight Physic Scholarships

10. Job Opportunities

11. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

13. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

An online version of this newsletter will be available at http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Cross-post: Extend the Tenure Clock to Save Careers of Rising Academic Women

By Karen Bjorkman

The halls of higher education already had a leaky pipeline for women in science and academia, but the coronavirus pandemic has taken an ax to the problem and busted it wide open.

Working moms across the country have reached a breaking point – a shocking 617,000 women quit the workforce in September alone.

In colleges and universities, as in other workplaces, we are on the cusp of what has been called a female recession after professional careers and parental duties merged during COVID-19 lockdowns and homeschooling.

Women are falling behind on research – derailing critical progress on achieving tenure and promotion within the seven-year deadline – especially in three main research areas: health and medicine, physical sciences and engineering, and social science and economics.

Before the damage to diversity is beyond repair, institutions must act immediately to provide flexibility for rising academic women who are facing career-ending setbacks.

At The University of Toledo, we are offering a one-year tenure clock extension to all junior faculty no matter what year they are in their tenure process. It’s the right thing to do. While not specifically aimed at women, we know that women are largely experiencing the brunt of childcare and caregiving for aging parents.

Read the rest of the article at

https://diverseeducation.com/article/197733/