Friday, December 3, 2021

AASWomen Newsletter for December 3, 2021

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Astronaut Jessica Watkins (from item 10; credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 03, 2021
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. Crosspost: ESAC SCI-S Science Seminar featuring Dr. Jocelyn Bell!

2. Crosspost: Madagascar STEM Non-profit Completes a Successful OAD Project

3. Adopting as academics: what we learnt

4. Scientists question Max Planck Society’s treatment of women leaders

5. Record number of first-time observers get Hubble telescope time

6. 'Hole' humanises stories of scientists and activists in Antarctica

7. Discrimination still plagues science

8. Professor sparks outrage by saying women should be kept out of law, medicine and engineering careers

9. Silent achievers: Hidden discoveries in Science

10. NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins Becomes the First Black Woman to Join International Space Station Crew

11. Women and the environment: power on the ground and in academia

12. Stereotypes about girls dissuade many from careers in computer science

13. Job Opportunities

14. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

15. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

16. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

An online version of this newsletter will be available at at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crosspost: ESAC SCI-S Science Seminar featuring Dr. Jocelyn Bell!

Just when you thought we couldn't add any more Dr. Jocelyn Bell content to this blog, Dr. Bell gave an incredible talk last month for the European Space Agency's SCI-S Science Seminar! I will never get over how incredibly talented, humble, and eloquent this woman is, and I am so grateful to her for continuing to study and highlight women in physics and astronomy. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Crosspost: Madagascar STEM Non-profit Completes a Successful OAD Proj

From the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development

A team of female scientists from Ikala STEM (Women in STEM – Madagascar) implemented LAMPS (
Leveraging Local Astronomy to Promote STEM)a project to directly address the inequality between urban and rural Madagascar in accessing quality STEM education and to showcase the relevance of science in everyday life. Originally planned to be held in the AVN-host city of Arivonimamo, this Office of Astronomy for Development-funded project was adapted to a two-stage STEM education hybrid event, a one-week online activity (e-LAMPS) and school visits by LAMPS volunteers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

e-LAMPS online program
e-LAMPS was held in June 2021 under the theme “Science in our daily life” or “STEM, incontournable dans notre quotidien” in French. Primarily targeted at middle and high school learners as well as tertiary students, e-LAMPS was designed to substitute the planned in-person STEM Fair (cancelled due to the pandemic). The event consisted of online quizzes, games, talks etc, targeting Malagasy middle and high school learners all over the country. The Ikala STEM Facebook page and website as well TV (TVM, Dream’in, TV Plus Madagascar) and radio (Fivoarana in Arivonimamo, RNM reaching around the country) stations, printed newspapers (e.g. L’Express de Madagascar) and posters were used to ensure maximum reach for e-LAMPS. Seven STEM-focused NGOs partnered with Ikala STEM during this virtual component of the project. More than 100 high school learners participated in the e-Quiz Contest and at least 15,000 people were reached virtually throughout the event.

Read the rest of the article and learn more about the the IAU OAD's work in Madagascar here: 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Crosspost: None of the 2021 science Nobel laureates are women – here’s why men still dominate STEM award winning

Written By Mary K. Feeney for The Conversation

Dr. Donna Strickland, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics, glances over her shoulder before entering her laboratory at the University of Waterloo.

All of the 2021 Nobel Prizes in science were awarded to men.

That’s a return to business as usual after a couple of good years for female laureates. In 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the chemistry prize for their work on the CRISPR gene editing system, and Andrea Ghez shared in the physics prize for her discovery of a supermassive black hole.

2019 was another year of all male laureates, after biochemical engineer Frances Arnold won in 2018 for chemistry and Donna Strickland received the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics.

Strickland and Ghez were only the third and fourth female physicists to get a Nobel, following Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer 60 years later. When asked how that felt, Strickland noted that at first it was surprising to realize so few women had won the award: “But, I mean, I do live in a world of mostly men, so seeing mostly men doesn’t really ever surprise me either.”

The rarity of female Nobel laureates raises questions about women’s exclusion from education and careers in science and the undervaluing of women’s contributions on science teams. Women researchers have come a long way over the past century, but there’s overwhelming evidence that women remain underrepresented in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Studies have shown that those women who persist in these careers face explicit and implicit barriers to advancement. Bias is most intense in fields that are dominated by men, where women lack a critical mass of representation and are often viewed as tokens or outsiders. This bias is even more intense for transgender women and non-binary individuals.

As things are getting better in terms of equal representation, what still holds women back in the lab, in leadership and as award winners?

Read the rest of the article to learn more about the discrimination women experience throughout their careers in STEM, from getting and undergraduate degree to winning a Nobel Prize.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Crosspost: The Impacts of Parenthood Are Not Equal

Written By Shelley O’Brien for AWIS

According to research from Mothers in Science's 2020 global survey on the impact of parenthood in STEM careers, mothers are more likely to be perceived as less competent and offered fewer professional development opportunities compared to fathers. 

Research shows that women who become mothers are offered fewer opportunities and earn less over their careers. Men who become fathers do not experience these severe consequences. Consider these data points from the Mothers in Science 2020 pre-COVID-19 global survey* “Impact of Parenthood on Career Progression in STEMM.”

Mothers are perceived as less dedicated employees and less competent due to implicit bias and structural problems that have nothing to do with motherhood. For example, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, women carry more of the burden for childcare and eldercare than men. Mothers require support from their partner at home, flexible workplace policies, and affordable and accessible childcare options. However, not everyone has access to these resources.

To be healthy and successful at work, women need to be able to 1) seek medical attention and informed advice and 2) to be able to make decisions about their reproductive health, including the choice about whether to have, and when to have, children. In science-oriented careers, particularly those in higher education where tenure may depend on stepped and timed advancement, the impact of an unplanned pregnancy can be especially significant.

Since men do not experience these challenges, any laws that interfere with women’s reproductive health, including the timing of pregnancy, unfairly target women — especially underprivileged women who do not have access to birth control, proper healthcare, transportation, and/or finances to obtain the care they need. To support women’s careers, we need to support their right to choose.

To learn more about Mothers in Science and ways to support the right to parenthood for all scientists, be sure to check out the Association for Women in Science's What’s Next webinar at 3 PM EST on Thursday, November 18, 2021 featuring Dr. Isabel Torres, CEO and co-founder of Mothers in Science.

*The Mothers in Science survey “Impact of parenthood on career progression in STEMM” was conducted between September 15th and December 31st, 2020. All responses correspond to the participants’ situation prior to COVID-19, and therefore, do not reflect the additional pressures brought on by the pandemic. The answers are based on self-report. A total of 8,930 participants, including mothers, fathers and non-parents, completed the survey. The study brings together survey participants from 128 countries, although the following countries are over-represented: the US, France, UK, Germany and Australia. As expected, women are also over-represented in the survey, which can be common in surveys related to women and caregiving issues. The survey was designed and led by Mothers in Science and conducted in partnership with INWES, Washington University St Louis, Parent in Science, Femmes & Sciences and 500 Women Scientists. Mothers in Science is analyzing the data in collaboration with a team of statisticians from the Universities of Grenoble, France and University of Toulouse, France.