Friday, July 10, 2009

AASWOMEN for July 10, 2009

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 10, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. Engineering Pamphlet for Girls

2. Professional Skills Development Workshop

3. Field Theory

4. Most Inspirational Woman Astronomers?

5. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

6. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN


1. Engineering Pamphlet for Girls
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

A colleague of mine sent me this link to an engineering pamphlet for girls:

http://engineeryourlife.org/cms/8750.aspx?subpage=10324

While exploring the web site, I found this:

A coalition of more than 55 engineering organizations set out to discover why so few academically prepared high school girls were entering engineering programs, and what could be done to increase their numbers. Two findings stood out:

(1) Girls (as well as their parents, teachers, and counselors) believe that engineers must be exceptional at both math and science and that engineering is difficult and challenging.

(2) It is the engineering community that is contributing to their limited understanding of the profession.

Rather than conveying what it's like to be an engineer, and sharing what we love about the field with young people, we tend to discuss the process of becoming an engineer, concentrating on the necessary qualifications and emphasizing all of the potential hurdles along the way. What's emphasized to girls (and boys) is how challenging the process is, not the reasons one would want to become an engineer in the first place. In a well-meaning effort to arm potential engineers with a healthy dose of realism, we often forget to also convey what is attractive and meaningful about the profession.

Changing just a few words would make this directly relevant to astronomy. For all of us teaching undergraduates, mentoring an REU student, doing outreach in local schools, etc. remember this advice from our engineering sisters and brothers: share what you love about being an astronomer!

If you've lost that love in the hustle and bustle of everyday life - proposal deadlines, grading exams, applying for your next job, etc. - take some time to rediscover it. It will not only be good for you personally but also for the next generation of astronomers.

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2. Professional Skills Development Workshop
From: Hannah at the Women in Astronomy Blog

[From http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/07/professional-skills-development.html ]

Mark your calendars: here's a heads up for those of you planning to attend the Women in Astronomy Meeting in College Park, MD on October 21-23. There will be a professional skills development workshop held the day before the meeting, on October 20, on the topic of Negotiation. The workshop is intended primarily at postdocs, but graduate students and young faculty may be accommodated depending on space.

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3. Field Theory
From: Hannah at the Women in Astronomy Blog

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/07/field-theory.html

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4. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers?
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

[Last week's item from the NewScientist survey on "Most Inspirational Woman Scientist Revealed" triggered several comments. Perhaps we should come up with a list of inspirational women astronomers. Who would you put in the top ten? - Eds.]

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was #4 on the NewScientist list.

One AASWOMEN reader wanted to know, "Where is Cecilia Payne, perhaps the greatest astronomer and one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century?"

What about Henrietta Leavitt, Maria Mitchell, and Annie Cannon? All three inspired me.

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5. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org. All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).

To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to

http://lists.aas.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aaswlist

and fill out the form.

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

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6. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at

http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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