Friday, July 31, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for July 31, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 31, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:

1. Career Panel Discussion
2. Online Harassment: The Dangers and Damages 
3. Men Totally Overestimate Their Math Skills And It May Explain The STEM Gender Gap 
4. LEGO Adds More Women in Science to Its Lineup  
5. There is crying in science. That’s okay.
6. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
8. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


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1. Career Panel Discussion
From: Laura Trouille via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

[Please note that this post will be updated when the video archive is available. -Eds.]

Astronomers develop an incredibly useful (and employable!) set of skills while pursuing their degree and research interests. The latest stats indicate that while ~75% of recent astronomy Ph.D.s accepted a postdoc position, over 80% eventually pursue careers outside the tenure track faculty route. 

To provide insight into the range of careers astronomers pursue and share advice and lessons learned along the way, we provided a series of Career Profiles. Our next experiment is to host a live, online Career Panel discussion.

Read more at


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2. Online Harassment: The Dangers and Damages  
From: Faïza Harbi via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Imagine a man you don’t know, yet everybody in your study group idolizes and considers a Physics Rockstar, contacts you privately. Imagine him showing you consideration and attention, telling you he’s going to help you regain some self-confidence through his physics course. Imagine you become friends with this man. This is an important event for someone who only has bad memories from physics in high school! It’s going to make a change, obviously, with a man like that caring about your progress and wanting to help you on a personal level. It could have an impact on that confidence issue you have!

Now, imagine that moment when you suddenly realize that it was all one big lie, that all he wanted was to gain your trust to exploit your weaknesses and use them against you, revealing his true motives: to use you for sexual purposes whether you wanted it or not.

This is exactly what happened to me when I enrolled in Walter Lewin’s physics massive open online course (MOOC) run through edX and MIT. 

Read more at


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3. Men Totally Overestimate Their Math Skills And It May Explain The STEM Gender Gap 
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

In a recent study of 122 undergraduate students, researchers from Washington State University found that “male students tended to overestimate their test scores, while the female students predicted their scores fairly accurately.”  Reports the lead author, “Gender gaps in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields are not necessarily the result of women's underestimating their abilities, but rather may be due to men's overestimating their abilities.”

Read more about the study at


Read the scientific article at


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4. LEGO Adds More Women in Science to Its Lineup  
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Since it first introduced a female scientist in 2013, LEGO has taken steps to address consumer interest by adding more female minifigs in scientific fields. The Space Port sets include female scientists, aerospace engineers, and astronauts, while the Deep Sea Explorers set features a number of female oceanographers.

To read more and to learn how “fans are pushing new visions of STEM professionals for LEGO to consider”, please visit


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5. There is crying in science. That’s okay. 
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Tim Hunt famously suggested that female scientists cry when they (or their work) are criticized. We know what happened to him, but did you know that men may actually cry more?  Dr. Ad Vingerhoets (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), an expert in the areas of stress and emotion, found that that men were more likely to break down crying in a work environment.

Read more about the study at


Read about one woman’s experiences at


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6. 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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7. 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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8. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.