Monday, April 14, 2014

AASWOMEN Newsletter for April 11, 2014

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of April 11, 2014
eds: Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner

This week's issues:

1. Guest Post: Time to talk about Privilege
2. Cultural Change: Broadening the Metrics for Promotion
3. France A. Córdova Sworn In as NSF Director
4. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Tenure Track Faculty at a Community College
5. Uwingu Invites Applications for Graduate-Student Travel Grants
6. Look past cult of perfection to promote women in sciences
7. Yes, Daily Mail – black and Asian women can be qualified to talk
8. Job Opportunities
9. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
11. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


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1. Guest Post: Time to talk about Privilege
From: Caitlin Casey via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Discussing privilege is not aggravating prejudice.  Just because I acknowledge that white people (particularly in the US) have intrinsic advantages in today's society doesn't mean I am accusing all white people of having a cushy, unchallenging life, nor do I claim that their African American counterparts are all disadvantaged. Instead, I'm acknowledging that harmful stereotypes, even those that are outdated, cause pervasive and often unconscious inequities.

Read more at 


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2. Cultural Change: Broadening the Metrics for Promotion
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The UK's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recently released a set of recommendations for promoting "Women in Scientific Careers". The report includes numerous useful references to studies describing the range of obstacles to recruitment and retention, as well as useful references to studies providing remedies and solutions for these obstacles. 

However, many found the report 'weak', particularly in terms of failing to address the structural changes needed in academia to tackle inequality.

Read more at 


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3. France A. Córdova Sworn In as NSF Director
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Astrophysicist and president emerita of Purdue University, France A. Córdova was sworn in as the NSF’s 14th director on March 31. In her acceptance speech, she noted that she is looking forward to working with “NSF staff in advancing scientific discovery, technological innovation, and STEM education.”

To read the AAS press release, please see


To read the NSF press release, please see


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4. Career Profiles: Astronomer to Tenure Track Faculty at a Community College
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and the AAS Employment Committee have compiled dozens of interviews highlighting the diversity of career trajectories available to astronomers. The interviews share advice and lessons learned from individuals on those paths.

Below is our interview with Andria Schwortz, an astronomer turned tenure track faculty at a community college. If you have questions, suggestions, advice to share, etc. about this career path, please leave a comment below.

To read the interview with Andria Schwortz, please see 


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5. Uwingu Invites Applications for Graduate-Student Travel Grants
From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Graduate students completing their PhD in 2014 in planetary science and/or exoplanet studies are eligible to apply for conference travel funding.  

For more information, please see


To fill out an application, please go to 


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6. Look past cult of perfection to promote women in sciences
From:  Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

In an insightful article, Christa Caggiano puts forth her own opinion as to why women are underrepresented in the sciences. Citing a recent study by a Harvard University professor, she says it’s because women who don’t earn a grade of B or higher in a particular subject area choose not to pursue that subject area. “For perfectionist women, this imperfection is a constant reminder that they are falling short of their lofty goals.”

To read more about how the idea of perfection might affect career choices, please see


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7. Yes, Daily Mail – black and Asian women can be qualified to talk
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

When the Daily Mail’s diarist Ephraim Hardcastle welcomed “one Asian, one black and both female” guests to his show, he thought they would be discussing racism. Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a mechanical engineer and a contributor to “The Sky at Night”, and Dr. Hiranya Peiris, an astrophysicist, were actually there to discuss the origin of the universe. Dreda Say Mitchell writes that “making assumptions about people's qualifications and whether they have them or not is far more damaging, especially for minorities.”

Read more of Dreda’s article at


See the original news item at


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8. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: http://www.aas.org/cswa/diversity.html#howtoincrease  

- Physics Rotataor, NSF Division of Undergraduate Education


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9. 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. 

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting. 

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

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10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email: 

Send email to aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have subscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list) 

To unsubscribe by email: 

Send email to aawlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have UNsubscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like. 

To join or leave AASWomen via web, or change your membership settings: 


You will have to create a Google Account if you do not already have one, using https://accounts.google.com/newaccount?hl=en  

Google Groups Subscribe Help: 


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11. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.