Friday, February 19, 2016

AASWOMEN Newsletter for February 19, 2016


AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of February 19, 2016
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Elysse Voyer, & Heather Flewelling

This week's issues:

1. Women In STEM: Top Female Scientists Playing Cards

2. Diversity Checklist

3. Academia's 'Baby Penalty'

4. Astrophysicist Vicky Kaspi wins top Cdn science prize

5. In Memoriam: Mercedes Richards (1955-2016)

6. Cover Posing for a Good Cause

7. Scientist Mary Somerville to appear on Scottish £10 note

8. Change the system to halt harassment

9. Watching the heavens: The female pioneers of science

10. XY Bias: How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers

11. Job Opportunities

12. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

14. Access to Past Issues


1. Women In STEM: Top Female Scientists Playing Cards
From: Christina Richey via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Last week was the first ever International Women in STEM day, and I was one of many celebrating the day by posting on social media, using #WomenInSTEM, images of women in STEM who have inspired me. It was also a great day to see so many other scientists post inspiring women and to see a collective effort at highlighting these game-changing researchers. Two scientists from the United Kingdom, Hannah Wakeford (@stellarplanet) and Simon Clark (@simonoxfphys), who were also co-hosts of The Science Hour on Xpression FM, created a card game dedicated to many of these inspirational women.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/02/women-in-stem-top-female-scientists.html

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2. Diversity Checklist
From Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

As we strive to make astronomy a true meritocracy, one challenge is to convince those with power that we still have work to do. If we want to build our community into one that looks more like America, one possible strategy is to convert those with privilege into allies for the cause. But what does one do to convince a potential ally to stop simply lounging on the sidelines? One possible tactic is to provide a budding supporter with some tools to help him/her get up and get in the game. An example of a helpful tool is the Diversity Checklist. I first saw a version of the list in a PowerPoint presentation given by my NSF colleague, Lynnette Marsden, a program officer from the Division of Materials Research. Lynnette and I served together on the NSF Math and Physical Sciences Broadening Participation Working Group. This list is geared specifically toward women, but it could be adopted easily to apply to any other underrepresented group. Here’s the version I now use in my Unconscious Bias talks. I pared the basic list down to fit smugly on a single PowerPoint slide, but for this post, I’ve added some hopefully-helpful notes under each item.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/02/diversity-checklist.html

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3. Academia's 'Baby Penalty'
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

By Sandra Waxman and Simone Ispa-Landa

Last month, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter introduced a suite of new Pentagon policies aimed at retaining female troops, especially those with young families. This follows on the heels of a bold new report issued at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting where 10 major Fortune-500 companies, including Twitter, Barclays and PricewaterhouseCoopers, committed to achieving full gender parity by 2020. Our nation's universities should join in. Women comprise only 37.5 percent of tenured faculty and 22 percent of university presidents.

Read more at

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2016-02-11/academia-must-correct-systemic-discrimination-and-bias-against-mothers

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4. Astrophysicist Vicky Kaspi wins top Cdn science prize
From: Michael Rupen [michael.rupen_at_nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]

By Chris Chipello

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has named McGill University astrophysicist Vicky Kaspi as this year’s recipient of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, NSERC’s highest honour, in recognition of the excellence and influence of her research contributions. Prof. Kaspi is the first woman and one of the youngest researchers to ever win the Herzberg Canada Gold Medal.

Read more at

https://www.mcgill.ca/channels/news/astrophysicist-vicky-kaspi-wins-top-cdn-science-prize-258612

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5. In Memoriam: Mercedes Richards (1955-2016)
From: Michael Rupen [michael.rupen_at_nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]

The Eberly College of Science mourns the loss of Mercedes Richards, professor of astronomy and astrophysics, who passed away on February 3. Richards joined the Penn State faculty in 2002 as a professor of astronomy and astrophysics. During her time at Penn State, she won many awards for her research, including a Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Research Scholar award and the Musgrave Medal. Her Fulbright award allowed her to conduct research on interacting binary stars at the Astronomical Institute in Slovakia during the 2010–11 academic year. The Musgrave Medal, awarded annually by the Institute of Jamaica to Jamaican natives who have contributed greatly to the fields of art, literature, and science, was awarded to Richards in 2008.

Read more at

http://science.psu.edu/news-and-events/in-memoriam-mercedes-richards-1955-2016

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6. Cover Posing for a Good Cause
From: Michael Rupen [michael.rupen_at_nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]

By Jim Hines

Long ago (in internet terms), I posted a series of pictures in which I attempted to duplicate the cover poses of various fantasy heroines. This quickly became my most-viewed blog post ever. Later, in response to various calls of, “But men are objectified too!” I did a follow-up, posing like the men in order to illustrate the difference in how men and women are portrayed. Since then, I regularly get emails and Tweets pointing me to genderswapped Avengers, men posing like car wash cheerleaders, and more. (I now have a better understanding of how John Scalzi must feel as the internet’s unofficial Emperor of All Things Bacon.) The other thing I get are requests to pose like various covers, whether it’s the Catwoman comic or the latest spinally-challenged urban fantasy heroine. At one point, a friend on Twitter said they’d pay $5 to see me try a particular pose. And that gave me an idea…

Read more at

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/cover-posing-for-a-good-cause

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7. Scientist Mary Somerville to appear on Scottish £10 note
From: Michael Rupen [michael.rupen_at_nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]

By Rob Davies

The scientist Mary Somerville will be the first woman other than a royal to appear on a Royal Bank of Scotland banknote – but only after a steward’s inquiry over an apparent attempt to rig the vote. Some 4,100 people voted via Facebook for Somerville, whose academic writing played a pivotal role in the discovery of the planet Neptune, to appear on a new £10 note.

Read more at

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/10/scientist-mary-somerville-scottish-10-note-royal-bank-scotland

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8. Change the system to halt harassment
From Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

By Joan Schmelz

Sexual harassment is a vile plague on science. I know this because I am asked regularly for help and advice by women who have been harassed. And the problem has been laid out for the broader research community in a series of recent cases. The US National Science Foundation, among other organizations, has reminded universities of their obligations to investigate allegations of harassment and to punish perpetrators accordingly. Yet the system continues to protect the reputation of harassers and the institutions that employ them. It is not enough for affected individuals to speak up. They must also know that their complaint will be dealt with properly. Here are some suggestions that could improve this situation. Read more at

http://www.nature.com/news/change-the-system-to-halt-harassment-1.19326

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9. Watching the heavens: The female pioneers of science
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

By Helen Briggs

As the bombs fell on London during the Great War, two women kept a vigil of the night sky. Fiammetta Wilson and Grace Cook observed shooting stars - the chunks of space rock that light up the sky as they plummet to Earth. They kept up records of meteors in what was then very much a man's world. In 1916, the pair were among the first four women to be awarded fellowship of The Royal Astronomical Society - a milestone in the acceptance of women in science.

Read more at

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35413738

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10. XY Bias: How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

By Ed Yong

Over the last three years, Sarah Eddy and Daniel Grunspan have asked over 1,700 biology undergraduates at the University of Washington to name classmates whom they thought were “strong in their understanding of classroom material.” The results were worrying but predictable. The male students underestimated their female peers, over-nominating other men over better-performing women. Put it this way: To the men in these classes, a woman would need to get an A to get the same prestige as a man getting a B.

Read more at

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/02/male-biology-students-underestimate-their-female-peers/462924

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11. 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

- Astronomy Instructor - Chaffey College http://www.chaffey.edu/humres/Astronomy%20Inst%20Annc%201-2016.pdf

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12. 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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13. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

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14. Access to Past Issues

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

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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