Friday, October 3, 2014

AASWOMEN Newsletter for October 3, 2014

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of October 3, 2014
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:



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From:  David Charbonneau via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com 

The Royal Society is the preeminent scientific club in the United Kingdom, and it is arguably the oldest such society in existence. Each year, the Royal Society offers its University Research Fellowships. These are highly coveted awards! Applicants may be from a broad range of scientific fields (including the noblest of the physical sciences, astronomy), and it provides both salary and research support for 5 years (with the possibility to extend to 8 years).

Importantly, the fellowships have a key relationship as a feeder program to permanent research posts in the United Kingdom, including faculty spots.

The instructions for the current round indicate that they expect a success rate of 10%. What the instructions don't say is that this was true last year only if you are a man.

Read more about this and see the data at


To read another article about this topic, please see


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From:  Kelly Korreck via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

As a follow on to Joan Schmelz's August 4, 2014, article “On leadership”, I volunteered to share my experience in a yearlong leadership training program, some advice on how to gain some of the experience without a formal program and some thoughts as to why this type of training matters for scientists. …leaders need to be able to effectively communicate not only the findings of science but its relevance to society.

To read more about Kelly’s experiences, please see


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From: Stella Offner [soffner_at_astro.umass.edu]

A review of "What Works for Women at Work" (authors Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey) by Debora L. Spar

Joan C. Williams has been a longtime laborer in the trenches of women's work. The founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, she boldly attacked the male-dominated workplace in "Unbending Gender" and, with her co-author, Cynthia Thomas Calvert, provided a blueprint for increased labor flexibility in law firms in "Solving the Part-Time Puzzle." Now, in collaboration with her daughter, Rachel Dempsey, Williams has turned to a different kind of book. Deftly combining sociological research with a more casual narrative style, "What Works for Women at Work" offers unabashedly straightforward advice in a how-to primer for ambitious women.

To read more, please see


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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 Doug Roberts, an astronomer turned Data Visualization Specialist for Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope and Adjunct Associate Professor at Northwestern University. He spends 75% of his time on research and content creation for WorldWide Telescope and 25% of his time on his astronomy research. If you have questions, suggestions, advice to share, etc. about this career path, please leave a comment below.

To read the interview with Doug, please see 


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From: Alexandra Pope [pope_at_astro.umass.edu]

Caroline Drucker is a busy woman!  In the recent past, she’s “given three different talks at three conferences, taken five plane and three train rides, visited four cities in four countries.” She feels “strongly about gender equality and [has] a hard time saying no to opportunities to speak on the subject if the event looks interesting…A tiny human shouldn’t get in the way ...”

Read more at


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From: Janice Best via Albion College Astronomy Group on Facebook

Upon successful insertion of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission into Mars’ orbit, the mission’s female scientists celebrated with hugs, grins, and acknowledgements in the international media, even though “the achievements of female scientists are rarely celebrated by Indian society”.  Wrote one journalist, “I assumed scientists at [India’s space agency] were mostly men, serious and probably middle-aged... And yet women have worked and led projects at [the agency] for years. In 2011, for example, three women were in charge of the launch of an Indian communications satellite.”

Read more at


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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 

- Faculty Position in Physics (including the subfield of Cosmology), Lehigh University
- Program Director(s) in the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation (extended until December 1)
- PhD Scholarships in Solar System Science, Göttingen, Germany
- University of California Observatories Director, California
- Tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Astronomy, Vassar College

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Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.