Tuesday, December 26, 2017

CSWA Activities at the January 2018 AAS meeting

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) is sponsoring two events at the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) winter meeting in January. Both are scheduled for Thursday, January 11.  The first will be a special session from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., in Potomac 1-2, entitled "The AAS Committee on the Status of Women: Then and Now and Where Do We Go from Here?"  We will open with a presentation by Dr. Roberta Humphreys of the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Humphreys will highlight activities that led to the creation of the CSWA, starting with Margaret Burbidge turning down the Cannon prize in 1971 because "the prize, available only to women, was in itself discriminatory.”  Included will be comparative demographic information about women in the 1970's and today.  We will then have a panel discussion about where we are now, and what the CSWA should be considering as we approach the 2020s. Dr. Nancy Morrison of the University of Toledo will moderate the panel discussion and subsequently open the discussion to the audience.  We want to hear from you!

The second event will be a CSWA Meet & Greet, following on our highly successful event in January 2017.  It will be held from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in National Harbor 13.  Come meet the CSWA members attending the AAS, meet your colleagues, and tell us about what matters to you.  Light refreshments will be served.  

Finally, please stop by the AAS booth during the meeting.  As a part of launching our new governance model, all the diversity committees will be a part of the AAS space, so its another great opportunity to meet your colleagues who are committed to improving the diversity and inclusion of our community.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cross-post: STARtorialist BOOTH-tique at AAS 231

Need to do some last-minute Holiday shopping?  STARtorialist is an astronomy fashion blog (also on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook), run by by Emily Rice and Summer Ash, that curates and shares astronomy and science-themed clothing, accessories, decor, and more. This is one of the projects supported by ScienceBetter Consulting, the business venture inspired by the success of AstroBetter. The plan is for the business activities to cover the costs of maintaining the blog and support the generation of new content.  Even better, for the first time ever, astronomers are going to be able to buy items directly from STARtorialist via their BOOTH-tique at AAS 231 in National Harbor, MD, featuring hundreds of items from our favorite designers.  

They have made eGift Cards available for purchase before the conference which will be redeemable at the BOOTH-tique. These would make fabulous gifts for anyone attending AAS 231, so astronomers, it’s time to update your wish lists! This would be an excellent way to show support and appreciation for your friends and colleagues attending the meeting.

For more information, view the entire blogpost at:


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Meet the CSWA: David Grinspoon

In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. He is involved with several interplanetary spacecraft missions for NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. His technical papers have been published in Nature, Science, and numerous other journals, and he has given invited keynote talks at conferences around the world. Grinspoon’s popular writing has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, Natural History, Nautilus, Astronomy, Seed, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Sky & Telescope Magazine where he is a contributing editor and writes the quasi-monthly “Cosmic Relief” column. He is the author and editor of several books. His newest book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Science Book of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday. His previous book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction.  Grinspoon has been recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society. He appears frequently as a science commentator on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars. Also a musician, he currently leads the House Band of the Universe.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I think my first personal cosmic connection came as a child on Cape Cod where my family vacationed in the summer, lying on the beach at night staring for hours, awestruck, at the piercing stars floating above. 

Another important formative experience was watching the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon when I was in the 4th grade. From that moment I was hooked.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Meet the CSWA: Greg Rudnick

In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.  Here we introduce Greg Rudnick.  Greg grew up in Chicago and his interest in astronomy started with his desire to be an astronaut and was fostered by his family’s frequent camping trips to places with dark skies and bright stars.  He became convinced of studying astronomy after a Saturday morning astronomy program at the Adler Planetarium run by the University of Chicago and Adler.  During his career Greg has moved around a lot.  He started studying Physics at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and graduated in 1996, after which he moved to the University of Arizona for the Ph.D. program in Astronomy.  Half-way through his time there he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany to follow his adviser, who became director of MPIA. After his Ph.D. he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany for a postdoc, followed by a four-year stint as the Leo Goldberg Fellow at NOAO in Tucson.  He started as a faculty member at the University of Kansas in 2008 and has been there ever since.  He is currently an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Greg is an observer who studies the evolution of galaxies using observatories in the ground and space.  He is especially interested in the environmental effects on galaxy evolution.  When not doing that he runs an outreach program at a local high school, and loves cooking hiking, biking and being with his family.

Describe the first time you made a personal connection with the planets and stars?

I always loved science fiction and space but the singular moment that sticks in my mind is when I was camping at Badlands National Park with my family in grade school.  We went to a nighttime interpretive program and one of the rangers showed me Saturn through a telescope.  I was blown away and, while I didn’t know it at the time, from then on I never really strayed from a path to an astronomy career.

Friday, December 1, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for December 1, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of December 1, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Women in Leadership: Influence             
2. Perspective: Communication in the Workplace
3. 2017 AAAS Fellows Recognized for Advancing Science
4. She's worked at NASA for 60 years, longer than any other woman
5. L’ORÉAL USA for Women in Science
6. Wonder Women
7. Job Opportunities   
8. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
10. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter