Thursday, December 8, 2016

AAS Candidate Questionnaire


Community members interested in issues of equity & inclusion have authored a survey for AAS members running for elected office, to request additional details on their policy positions and plans related to their prospective offices. The full questionnaire appears below. It was constructed with input from the community on issues that are important to all of us as we cast our votes.

A star (*) appears by the 5 questions that the authors consider the most important.


Survey responses will be made publicly available to AAS voters in read-only Google documents, and the availability of these responses will be advertised on the Astronomy in Color blog and here on the Women in Astronomy blog.

AAS Candidate Questionnaire

1. In a few sentences, what does equity and inclusion in astronomy mean to you?

2. In terms of racial, sexual, gender, and disability equity in our field, what do you believe the AAS is doing well, and what does the AAS need to improve?

3. (*) As part of the AAS leadership, what equity issue do you most want to address? What challenges do you believe the AAS will need to address in the next three years?

4. How do you see the AAS leading our field to racial, sexual, gender, and disability equity while respecting the self-governance of universities, departments, and other employers?

5. (*) Beyond its astronomy-specific responsibilities, do you see the AAS responding to more general threats to the rights or welfare of marginalized groups in the U.S., even if it risks political backlash?

6. What can the AAS do or continue doing to aid the professional development and employment opportunities for its growing population of junior members from minoritized groups?

7. (*) How will you work with the AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA), the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA), the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability (WGAD), and the Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA) to ensure that the AAS is continually progressing toward making astronomy equitable for all?

8. (*) What background and experience in inclusion, equity, and accessibility work would you bring to this position that would help you make progress on these priorities? What personal experience would help inform your stance on these issues?

9. (*) Given recent publicized revelations of sexual harassment by senior astronomers, how do you believe that the AAS could help improve the climate in our field to better protect members from experiencing harassment along all axes (including race, disability, sexuality, and gender identification) and to support those who have experienced it?

10. Do you support at least one plenary AAS session per year (either at the winter or summer meeting) that addresses community issues related to equity and inclusion? How would you use your position as AAS leadership to ensure there is ample time and support for this type of plenary?