Monday, September 26, 2011

AASWOMEN for September 23, 2011

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of September 23, 2011
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson, and Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. History of the CSWA

2. How Things Have Changed (for the Better!)

3. Which countries have the highest proportion of female graduates? -- A Response

4. A Postdoc's Guide to Pregnancy & Maternity Leave

5. Seeking Stories on Quantitative Skills Important for Physics Majors

6. Nomination for Excellence in Astronomy Education Awards

7. Aspen Center for Physics, Winter Conferences - 2012

8. International Observe the Moon Night (Oct. 8)

9. Job Opportunities

10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

12. Access to Past Issues


1. History of the CSWA
Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

Joan Schmelz has compiled historical information on the origins of the CSWA and its history, and Nancy Morrison has kindly posted it at

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

Enjoy!

Back to top.
2. How Things Have Changed (for the Better!)
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

This week's story of how things have changed for women in astronomy comes from Meg Urry, the Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy and chair of the Department of Physics at Yale University. Meg is also a contributing editor to the STATUS newsletter and a former chair of CSWA.

Meg writes: "Ah, the good old days! I remember discussions with Carnegie Mellon University about a faculty job, in 1990, in the Physics Department. Both my husband and I were on the market, looking for two jobs in the same location. CMU told us they could not hire a husband and wife because of anti-nepotism rules. The next year, in 1991, when we were again on the market, they had done away with this rule and they offered us two jobs. I always liked that department and would have liked being there but in the end, I chose to stay at STScI (because my husband had a really great job at Goddard)."

Nepotism is not generally a factor we consider in solving today's two-body problem, but anti-nepotism rules were the norm at universities in the United States in the 1920s through the 1970s. As Meg mentions above, some persisted into the 1990s! These rules deprived numerous talented women of faculty positions at the universities where their husbands were employed.

One of the many famous victims of anti-nepotism rules was Nobel laureate Maria Goeppert-Mayer. Since she was married to chemist, Joseph Mayer, she was forced to become a "volunteer research associate," a euphemism for an unemployed or underemployed scientist. Later, she accepted a half-time research position in Chicago where she formulated the shell model for atomic nuclei, her Nobel Prize winning work. She was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1956, but she was not employed full-time as a professor (and paid accordingly) until 1960 when she moved to the University of California in San Diego.

Back to top.
3. Which countries have the highest proportion of female graduates? -- A Response
From: Johannes Andersen [ja_at_astro.ku.dk]

[The last issue of the AASWOMEN newsletter included a story from John Leibacher on Which countries have the highest proportion of female graduates? One reader responded with a comment -- eds.]

A comment on John Leibacher's piece on demographis in today's issue:

I was asked to comment on a title for a Nordic workshop on Women in Physics and suggested "2025: The Post-Male Era".

As an observing astronomer, isn't this what I see?

Back to top.
4. A Postdoc's Guide to Pregnancy & Maternity Leave
From: WIPHYS, September 20, 2011

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has developed a new online resource, "A Postdoc's Guide to Pregnancy and Maternity Leave," The guide provides general information on pregnancy and maternity leave for postdocs, including tips on keeping your research going and talking with your postdoctoral supervisor.

The guide covers such topics as: Research Concerns for your Pregnancy; Maternity Leave and Federal Funding Guidelines; and Making a Maternity Research Plan.

You can find it here: http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/publications/563-maternity-guide

Back to top.
5. Seeking Stories on Quantitative Skills Important for Physics Majors
From: WIPHYS, September 20, 2011

Which quantitative skills are important for physics majors to acquire in today's data-driven age? Computer programming, computer science (artificial intelligence, machine learning), data visualization, simulation techniques, statistics? How do these skills complement physics training, empower a student, or broaden career choices after graduation?

If you would like to write an article or provide a short testimonial on the subject for the Gazette, please email Deanna Ratnikova, ratnikova_at_aps.org.

Back to top.
6. Nomination for Excellence in Astronomy Education Awards
From: Luisa Rebull [rebull_at_ipac.caltech.edu]

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is now accepting nominations for the Society's 2012 awards honoring accomplishments in astronomy education and public outreach. Recipients receive a cash award and engraved plaque, as well as travel and lodging to accept the award at the Society's 2012 Meeting next summer.

* The Richard Emmons Award celebrates a life-time of outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.

* The Klumpke-Roberts Award recognizes those who have made major contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.

* The Thomas J. Brennan Award is given for excellence in the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in North America.

* The Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award honors outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomer to K-12 students and the public.

Submission guidelines, and lists of past recipients can be found at

http://www.astrosociety.org/membership/awards/awards.html

The deadline for nominations is December 15, 2011. You do not need to be a member of the Society to make or second a nomination.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Albert Silva at: asilva_at_astrosociety.org or 415.337.1100 x 100.

Back to top.
7. Aspen Center for Physics, Winter Conferences - 2012
From: Katy Garmany [garmany-at_noao.edu]

The Aspen Institute of Physics hosts Winter and Summer Programs, a number of which are astrophysics. It may be of interest to AASWomen members.

[Some of the Winter Conferences: January 15-20, 2012: ExoClimes 2012: The Diversity of Planetary Atmospheres January 21-27, 2012: The Physics of Astronomical Transients January 30 - February 4, 2012: Inflationary Theory and Its Confrontation with Data in the Planck Era

see:

http://www.aspenphys.org/documents/program/winterworkshops12.html

The deadline to apply for many of these programs is October 15, 2011. -- eds,]

Back to top.
8. International Observe the Moon Night (Oct. 8)
Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

October 8 is International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN). The goal is to encourage as many people as possible, worldwide, to spend an evening learning about and observing the Moon. To find a registered event near you, instructions on how to host your own event, and information about InOMN and the Moon can be found at

http://observethemoonnight.org

Back to top.
9. Job Opportunities

A. NASA Fellowship for Pre- and In-Service Student

http://www.us-satellite.net/endeavor/about.cfm

B. Junior Faculty Position in Astrophysics, MIT

http://www.academicjobsonline.com

C. Assistant Professor, Physics Teacher Education, Illinois State University

http://www.phy.ilstu.edu

D. Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Astrophysics at Lehigh University

https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/1018

Back to top.
10. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address.

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

Back to top.
11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter, please fill in the required information at:

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

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

Back to top.
12. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

Back to top.