Friday, July 10, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for July 10, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 10, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:

From: Christina Richey via

The IAU Women in Astronomy Working Group & The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy will be sponsoring several events at the IAU XXIX General Assembly in Hawaii in August.

Included on the schedule are a student welcome reception, a women’s luncheon, mentor events, and talks throughout the two weeks.

For a detailed schedule, please see

From: Nicole E. Cabrera Salazar via

I’m writing this post because after a week of depressing conversations with other female astronomers about sexual harassment, it has become clear to me that we need to keep bringing these issues to light. I chose not to remain anonymous in order to put a name and a face to this problem and show that harassment has real consequences for real people. I do not judge anyone’s right to choose anonymity, because it has taken me years to work up the courage to speak publicly. By attaching my name to this post, my harasser will know exactly whom I’m referring to if and when he reads this, and I’m glad. I hope that reading this instills remorse and shame in all of the perpetrators out there. You know who you are.

Read more at 

From: Nicolle Zellner []

Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund has been tagged to lead The German Aerospace Center, DLR. She will be the first woman to lead a major German research facility. The German space agency manages a major aerospace-research portfolio; after France, Germany is the second-largest contributor to the 22-nation European Space Agency.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is also set to have its first female leader. The Council of the NAS has approved the nomination of geophysicist Dr. Marcia K. McNutt, who is the first female editor-in-chief of the journal Science, for election as president. Along with the rest of the scientists of the Academy, McNutt provides objective scientific advice to the American government to influence sound policy decisions, and as Science editor-in-chief, she has implored “senior academics to be mindful of their unconscious biases against women: In reviewing 60 grant applications, she reported, 10% of the recommendation letters highlighted qualities unrelated to research -- and every single one of those 10% were female applicants.”

Read more about Ehrenfreund’s appointment at

Read more about McNutt’s appointment at

From: Karen Masters []

[This is a UK-based award. – Eds]

The Women of the Future Awards are the platform for successful young women in Britain. Now in their tenth year, the awards continue to unearth and recognise the inspirational stars of tomorrow across diverse sectors. The awards are open to all women aged 35 or under (candidates must be aged 35 or under on December 31, 2015) living or working in the United Kingdom. Categories include “Technology and Digital”, “Science”, “Mentor of the Year” and “Young Star Awards”. Note that the last two have different eligibility. The entry deadline September 4th, 2015.

Find the application form at 

or email candidate suggestions to

For more details, see 

From: Nicolle Zellner []

Post-feminist French director Marie Noelle has begun filming a new biopic about the life of Marie Sklodowska-Curie, the first woman to win two Nobel prizes, each for her seminal discovery in physics or chemistry. 

"Within a space of six years, she gave birth to a child, lost her beloved husband with whom she shared her passion for scientific research and fell in love again (with a married man) sparking a high-profile public scandal, and then she wins another Nobel to top it all off," commented Noelle, who is on location in the central Polish city of Lodz this week.

Read more about Noelle, Curie, and the biography at

From: Nicolle Zellner []

Comments about segregated lab spaces and crying females forced Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt to resign his position at University College London, after reactions flooded the Internet and Twitter in particular.  

Not everyone agrees that this recourse was warranted, however. Says his former post-doc, Alessia Errico, “… comments made by my former boss Tim Hunt are not an indication that he is biased against women… it is grossly unfair that Tim should be considered, and treated, as an emblem of this sexism or gender discrimination.”


Additionally, The Times reported that a transcript of his talk clearly states that he was joking. What he says immediately after his well-tweeted comments about segregated labs and crying females, however, didn’t make it into the mainstream press: “Now seriously, I’m impressed by the economic development of Korea. And women scientists played, without doubt an important role in it. Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me.”

Read more at 


For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:

- Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Physics, University of Sydney
- Faculty Position in Theoretical or Computational Astrophysics, University of Bath


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