Friday, May 26, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for May 26, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of May 26, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Peer Review as a Lens Into Bias        
2. Is This How Discrimination Ends?
3. Scholarships for Women and Grants for Mothers Added to AAS Resource Page
4. How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering
5. Pearl I. Young
6. Job Opportunities
7. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
9. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


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1. Peer Review as a Lens Into Bias 
From: Daryl Haggard via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com 

In a recent upper-level Astrophysics course, I assigned students a term paper, and required that they participate in a double-blind peer review for their first drafts. I wasn’t originally intending this assignment to lead to a conversation about bias, but my students came to me with concerns about the “fairness” of the process: What if another student had a poor opinion of the topic they selected? What if their reviewers didn’t do a good job? Why were we doing it blind, so they didn’t know whose review to take more or less seriously, based on their experience of that student? How could they properly review the paper if they didn’t know who wrote it?

This opened a fantastic conversation about peer review and also about implicit bias in science. 

Read more at


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2. Is This How Discrimination Ends?
From: Cristina Thomas [cthomas_at_psi.edu]

“There are a lot of people who are very sincere in their renunciation of prejudice,” says Patricia Devine, a psychology professor and director of the Prejudice Lab at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. “Yet they are vulnerable to habits of mind. Intentions aren’t good enough.” Now de rigueur at organizations across the country, it is not clear whether or not “unconscious-bias trainings” have had any meaningful effect.

Read more at


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3. Scholarships for Women and Grants for Mothers Added to AAS Resource Page
From: Rick Fienberg [ick.fienberg_at_aas.org]

The Open Education Database has lists of scholarships for women and lists of scholarships and grants for single moms. These links have been added to the AAS’s webpage for internships and scholarships.

See the listings at


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4. How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering 
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

In a recent study, Tara Dennehy and Nilanjana Dasgupta (University of Minnesota) “showed that female engineering undergraduates who are paired with a female mentor felt more motivated, more self-assured, and less anxious than those who had either no mentor or a male one. They were less likely to drop out of their courses, and keener to look for engineering jobs after they graduated. “Often, science is messy and things don’t turn out neatly,” Dasgupta says. But in this study, “it was very gratifying how clean the results were.” ”

Read more at


Read the study at


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5. Pearl I. Young
From:  Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

“Pearl I. Young (1895 - 1968) was the first female professional hired by the NACA, in an age when most women in the government were constrained to staffing support positions such as secretaries or administrative aides. After a productive initial career in the field of instrumentation, she recognized the shortcomings of technical writing by the Langley staff and the lack of a systematic approach within the NACA to prepare technical documents. She personally conceived and implemented a highly-successful technical writing system that resulted in outstanding documentation of superior quality. The basic approach inspired by her efforts was implemented by the NACA and NASA, and continues to be used today.”

Read more at


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6. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: https://cswa.aas.org/#howtoincrease 

- Assistant Professor in Observational Astrophysics, University of Toronto

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7. 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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8. 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 aaswlist+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: 


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9. Access to Past Issues

  
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.