Friday, April 24, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for April 24, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of April 24, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:

1. Some Professors are More Biased Than Others

2. Postdoc and research staff diversity: the need for data

3. Inclusive Astronomy 2015: Early registration and travel support requests due by May 1

4. Female Scientists Who Changed the World

5. Congress Probes Possible Bias against Women in U.S. Science Funding

6. Code and the Quest for Inclusive Software

7. Job Opportunities

8. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

10. Access to Past Issues


1. Some Professors are More Biased Than Others

From: Neil Gehrels via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Motivated by a New York Times article, I looked up a paper in the Journal of Psychology about a study done to assess bias in university professors. The results were based on a large blind audit of professors in various fields and were remarkable. In all fields except the humanities, professors systematically replied to correspondence from professors than students with white male names differently than students with female names or names suggesting non-white race.

The study was performed by Katherine L. Milkman (U. Penn), Modupe Akinola (Columbia) and Dolly Chugh (NYU) and published on-line this year. E-mails were sent to a large selection of professors in 89 disciplines and 289 institutions The e-mails were from fictitious students expressing interest in a professor's research and asking for a short meeting during the student's visit to campus. The student names were chosen to suggest gender and race, such as Meredith Roberts and Raj Singh. A total of 6548 e-mails were sent to randomly selected professors.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/04/some-professors-are-more-biased-than.html

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2. Postdoc and research staff diversity: the need for data

From: Ed Bertschinger via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Silicon Valley came under a lot of criticism last year for its seemingly grudging acknowledgement that it has a problem with diversity in its technical workforce. After a lot of pressure, many, but not all, major technology companies have released some data.

Higher education also has a diversity problem -- several, in fact. An examination of MIT data on recruitment and retention of graduate students and faculty from underrepresented groups -- women and minorities in STEM fields -- gives evidence that positive efforts were yielding some successes, as detailed in a major report. These groups come under a lot of scrutiny, and to be sure, there is need for renewed efforts so that the talent available in more than half the population is developed and tapped more fully in academia. But it seems to me that all the light shone on graduate students and faculty has left other important groups struggling to read their career guides in astronomical twilight.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/04/postdoc-and-research-staff-diversity.html

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3. Inclusive Astronomy 2015: Early registration and travel support requests due by May 1

From: Inclusive Astronomy organizers [inclusiveastronomy2015_at_vanderbilt.edu]

The Inclusive Astronomy meeting, which will be held from June 17-19 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, will take an intersectional approach to equity and inclusion in astronomy. It will include thought-provoking presentations, workshops with toolkits for practical "how to" information, and plenty of time for discussion to develop a set of recommendations for our community.

The early registration and travel support request deadline of Friday, May 1 is rapidly approaching. The meeting will be able to provide travel support for a limited number of attendees, especially students and early career scientists, who may make a request during the registration process. Decisions on travel support will be made based on a combination of need and registration order, and will be announced by May 8.

Hotel rooms in the conference block must be reserved by May 4, and attendees have the option of requesting accommodations at a lower cost in a Vanderbilt dormitory during the registration process (see the Travel & Lodging tab on the meeting website for details). There is no penalty for reserving lodging now and canceling or changing the reservation with at least 24 hours notice, so it is better to make lodging arrangements sooner rather than later. You may also register for the meeting now but wait to make payment until the financial assistance notification. The website also contains detailed childcare information.

A key product of this meeting will be a set of inclusive astronomy recommendations developed with active community support. Please fill out this form to make any suggestions on what the recommendations should include: http://goo.gl/forms/oaAFqk4Ntp

The meeting website is: http://vu.edu/ia2015

If you have any questions, you may email the meeting organizers at inclusiveastronomy2015_at_vanderbilt.edu or ask AstroInclusive on Twitter.

For more information on the meeting, please also see the following blog posts:

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/01/inclusive-astronomy-meeting-june-17-19.html http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/04/this-guest-post-is-composed-by.html

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4. Female Scientists Who Changed the World

From: WIPHYS Posting for Apr 23, 2015

[Technology and science writer Rachel Swaby has written a collection of profiles of game-changing women in science in Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World. Swaby's compendium brings visibility to the women who've impacted science and our world as it stands today.]

by Lucy Vernasco

A new book out Tuesday challenges the male-centric history of science. Women haven't just succeeded in this industry, argues author Rachel Swaby, they've reigned supreme. Before readers of the The New York Times knew Yvonne Brill was one of the most revolutionary rocket scientists, they learned she made beef Stroganoff and followed her husband from job to job.

It wasn't until the second paragraph of her 2013 obituary that her critical role in both the efficiency and efficacy of today's satellites was revealed. The overshadowing of female scientists' accomplishments in favor of more classic gendered-roles is one of the greatest issues with profiling women scientists.

Two years after the NYT snubbed Brill, Rachel Swaby has set out to change the narrative in a new book, out Tuesday, titled: Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World.

Read more at

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/07/female-scientists-who-changed-the-world.html

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5. Congress Probes Possible Bias against Women in U.S. Science Funding

From: Elysse Voyer [elysse.voyer_at_gmail.com]

by Fiona Case and ChemistryWorld

At the request of three Congresswomen the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched an investigation into whether gender bias is influencing the awarding of research grants, which would be illegal under US law.

There is evidence of gender disparity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) research at US universities and 4 year colleges-women hold only 35% of all tenured and tenure-track positions and 17% of full professor positions in Stem fields. This discrepancy has motivated numerous studies to discover factors that could be holding women back.

Funding bias could certainly be one of those factors, but the GAO investigation has quickly hit a road block. Three of the six largest funding agencies-the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and NASA-have not been collecting demographic information on grant applicants...

Read more at

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/congress-probes-possible-bias-against-women-in-u-s-science-funding

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6. Code and the Quest for Inclusive Software

From: Elysse Voyer [elysse.voyer_at_gmail.com]

by Vauhini Vara

A couple of years ago, Robin Hauser Reynolds, a filmmaker and photographer in the Bay Area, learned that her daughter, who had been taking computer-science classes, had decided that she wasn't cut out to pursue computer science as a career. In one particular class, in which there were only a few female students, she felt that she didn't fit in. She also perceived herself to be doing poorly, despite getting decent grades. "She called home a couple of times and said, 'Hey, Mom, I'm so bad at this, this is horrible, I hate it.' And meanwhile I'd seen a bunch of newspaper articles that said, 'Hey, if you want a job out of college, you should study computer science," Reynolds recalled. She began seriously contemplating a question that has occupied Silicon Valley executives for the past couple of years: Why aren't there more female programmers in the U.S., and what can be done about it?

The result of Reynolds's inquiries was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, with the premiere of "Code: Debugging the Gender Gap," a documentary that aims to make sense of the dearth of women in computer science...

Read more at

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/code-and-the-quest-for-inclusive-software

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7. 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

-Visiting Assistant Professor in Physics, Wesleyan University
https://careers.wesleyan.edu/postings/4838

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8. 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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9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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10. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to aaswlist+unsubscribe@aas.org.

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