Friday, January 18, 2013

CSWA Special Session at the AAS: Family Leave Policies


At the 221st AAS meeting at Long Beach, CA, the CSWA sponsored a special session entitled, "Family Leave Policies and Childcare for Graduate Students and Postdocs." The principal organizers were CSWA members Dave Charbonneau and Laura Trouille.

Slides from the presentations by Dave Charbonneau, Natalie Gosnell, Bob Mathieu, Edward Ajhar, and Charles Beichman are now posted as PDFs at http://www.aas.org/cswa/jan13.html.

Charbonneau's presentation included a report of preliminary results from the CSWA's national survey of department chairs on this topic. Gosnell and Mathieu reported on implementation of a forward-looking policy at UW-Madison. Ajhar reported on the NSF's work-life balance initiative, and Beichman described NASA's fellowship programs and their parental leave policies. Laura Trouille briefly presented preliminary results from the postdoc family leave survey. These results are also posted at the website listed above.

If you couldn't attend the session, take a look at the slides for a snapshot of the current state of this issue, which is critical for 21st century careers in astronomy.

If you'd like to voice your support for improving family leave policies for our community, please consider signing http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/aaron-geller/petition. As of this post, the petition has over 1100 signatures.