Friday, June 24, 2011

The All-Male Planetary Science Club

The top 11 institutions that have all-male planetary science tenured or tenure-track faculty, and at least four planetary science faculty, are ranked below in order of most-to-fewest faculty numbers:

1. UC Santa Cruz
2. Washington University
3. California Institute of Technology
4. Cornell University
5. University of Central Florida
6. Boston University
7. Brown University
8. Princeton University
9. Rice University
10. University of Maryland
11. University of Michigan

Is the problem with the above listed institutions their hiring practices? These statistics imply that men are hired for tenure-track and women are hired for non-tenure track planetary science positions at the above-listed institutions. If institutions have all male faculty, how likely is it that a women will be interviewed and hired? Is what women planetary science faculty have to offer considered not worthy at the above listed institutions? If so, why?

I am at the University of Central Florida (number 5 in the list) in a non-tenure track line and the only female in that planetary science group. Statistics imply that I'm not worthy of a tenure-track line at my own institution and, with their hiring practices, not likely to be worthy. Why is teaching multiple astronomy-related courses per semester, writing blogs, writing newsletters, publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals, reviewing papers in peer-reviewed journals, writing proposals, evaluating proposals, owning a technology company, ghost-writing a book, co-authoring other books, ghost-advising PhD candidates, presenting at conferences/workshops, sitting on LOC or SOC of other conferences/workshops not considered worthy??? Of course this does not even include being a single parent which is also time-taxing (but worth it). Why do non-tenure track women have to be superwomen and still not be considered worthy?


[Data for this post comes from

http://lasp.colorado.edu/mop/resources/links/PlanetaryScienceWorkForceSurvey2011/DeptResponses/DeptSummary.pdf]