Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Facing the Future: The CSWA seeks your input on our community needs in the 2020s!

From the CSWA

During 2018 the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) began an effort to gather information about what are seen by our communities as the areas of key importance beyond scientific research that the AAS, its divisions, and its relevant committees (including the CSWA itself) should focus on as we move into the 2020s.  The goal is to use this information to (1) develop one or more white papers that will be submitted to the Decadal Survey as a part of the call for papers on an activity, project, or state of the profession consideration and to (2) develop a new strategic plan for the CSWA for the 2020s.

Our strategy has been to first identify the key areas and potential activities that could be undertaken in these areas by the AAS, its divisions, or relevant committees. We have taken all the input we have received so far and created a survey based on that information.  Now we need you, the members of the communities the AAS and its divisions serve, to tell us which of the many wonderful activities and ideas that have been brought to our attention that you think will have the most impact and/or are the most important to focus on! (And tell us about anything we’ve missed!)  The survey is organized around 4 key areas: Harassment and Bullying; Creating Inclusive Environments; Professional Development, Hiring, and Retention; and Professional Ethics, and also provides an opportunity to provide additional feedback and suggestions.  The more input we have from you, the better we can plan to advocate for you and serve you!  So please take a few minutes to contribute your input – we can’t do it without you!  

The survey is completely confidential and anonymous– we are not gathering any personally identifiable information, nor are we capturing any information on who is accessing the survey. We estimate it will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the evaluation of the activities in the four subtopics. There are additional open-ended questions and room for suggestions that are optional to address in as much or as little detail as the respondent wishes. The survey will be open until Tuesday, April 23, 2019.  It can be accessed at:

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cross-post: The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes

From the Atlantic article (Bettmann/Getty)
"In science, the question of who gets credit for important work—fraught in any field—is set down on paper, for anyone to see. Authorship, given pride of place at the top of scientific papers, can advance reputations and careers; credits buried in the rarely read acknowledgments section do not."

In the Atlantic article, The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes, Ed Yong highlights a team of students led by Emilia Huerta-Sánchez and Rori Rohlfs who searched through decades of acknowledgements in Theoretical Population Biology and discovered that many women were not given the authorships that would be expected for today's researchers.

Read more at:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/02/womens-history-in-science-hidden-footnotes/582472/ 

Friday, February 8, 2019

AASWOMEN Newsletter for February 8, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of February 08, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, JoEllen McBride, and Ale Aloisi (guest ed.)

[It’s Black History Month! This issue features some resources for including astronomers and physicists of color in your lectures and talks. --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. AAS Public Policy Office Post-Shutdown Town Hall Updates

2. Cross-post: The Woman Who Sees Space First

3. AAWIP Lists African American Women with PhDs Who Identify as Physicists

4. NSBP Black History Month Physics Profiles

5. Gladys West's work on GPS 'would impact the world'

6. Rosalind Franklin: Mars rover named after DNA pioneer

7. This is how science can fix its glaring gender inequality problem

8. Keynote Speaker added to NASEM Symposium Highlighting Evidence-Based Interventions to Address the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

9. Grad Students in STEM Talk Lab Culture Issues at Union-Led Discussion

10. The History of Women in Sci-Fi Isn’t What You Think

11. Job Opportunities

12. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

14. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cross-post: The Woman Who Sees Space First

A recent Medium article by Shannon Stirone profiles Candice Hansen-Koharcheck. Candice has been been working with ground-breaking images from a series of iconic spacecraft for over 40 years. “To me, these places have gone from being points of light in the sky to being real places,” Hansen-Koharcheck says.

Read more at:

Friday, February 1, 2019

AASWomen Newsletter for February 1, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
February 1, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, and JoEllen McBride

This week's issues: 
Image Credit: Shayanne Gal/Business Insider (August 2018)


1. From young to youthful - the challenges of mid-career  
2. Interviews with Scientist on “Person Place Thing”  
3. Q&A: Pulsar pioneer Jocelyn Bell Burnell
4. Scientists’ salary data highlight US$18,000 gender pay gap
5. How gender disparities in salary add up over a lifetime
6. To learn inclusion skills, make it personal
7. To Groom Better Scientists, Harness the Power of Narrative
8. It’s Time to Rethink Who’s Best Suited for Space Travel 
9. Celebrate the women behind the periodic table
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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

From young to youthful - the challenges of mid-career

By Orsola De Marco

Orsola De Marco is an Astrophysicists working at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is Italian born, but complete her degrees at University College London. She spent the better part of a decade at the American Museum of Natural History, where she worked in research as well as Astronomy documentaries. 

Walking the tight rope takes a lot of training. Even more so if the walker carries two suitcases, and is balancing a ball on her nose. It is hard but it can be done with some innate ability and the right encouragement. And so the walker takes her first few steps, to the applause of the audience. But as her pace picks up, now steady and confident, the audience starts to leave, the encouragement wanes and she realises that she is not yet on the other side. Not by a long way. Then the wind strengthens and the suitcases are feeling heavier. Though experienced, she now has to figure out a new set of tricks to keep her balance.

In one’s mid-career, having achieved some measure of success (a job, even professor title) things are by no means slowing down or getting easier. There are still very large and growing expectations of maintaining a certain level of research, teaching and administration. And while these expectations grow, the kids, who for a few years have been easier, older, more independent, turn into teens, with teen problems. And the ageing parents who were helpful, turn into … kids. And suddenly life and work become a new match of some well-known game where the rules have been altered, like a professional soccer player, placed in a game of bubble football, where skill is sabotaged by grotesque obstacles.