Thursday, January 31, 2019

From young to youthful - the challenges of mid-career

By Orsola De Marco

Orsola De Marco is an Astrophysicists working at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is Italian born, but complete her degrees at University College London. She spent the better part of a decade at the American Museum of Natural History, where she worked in research as well as Astronomy documentaries. 

Walking the tight rope takes a lot of training. Even more so if the walker carries two suitcases, and is balancing a ball on her nose. It is hard but it can be done with some innate ability and the right encouragement. And so the walker takes her first few steps, to the applause of the audience. But as her pace picks up, now steady and confident, the audience starts to leave, the encouragement wanes and she realises that she is not yet on the other side. Not by a long way. Then the wind strengthens and the suitcases are feeling heavier. Though experienced, she now has to figure out a new set of tricks to keep her balance.

In one’s mid-career, having achieved some measure of success (a job, even professor title) things are by no means slowing down or getting easier. There are still very large and growing expectations of maintaining a certain level of research, teaching and administration. And while these expectations grow, the kids, who for a few years have been easier, older, more independent, turn into teens, with teen problems. And the ageing parents who were helpful, turn into … kids. And suddenly life and work become a new match of some well-known game where the rules have been altered, like a professional soccer player, placed in a game of bubble football, where skill is sabotaged by grotesque obstacles.

Friday, January 25, 2019

AASWomen Newsletter for January 25, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women  
Issue of January 25, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, JoEllen McBride, and Alessandra Aloisi (guest ed.)
Photo by Douglas Sonders

This week's issues:

1. Cross-post: Women in Planetary Science, Summary of DPS 2018 Planetary Allyship Meeting
2. CORRECTION: Making Waves: 6 Women in Hawaii with Careers in STEM Share Their Stories
3. Nancy Roman, the American space agency NASA's first Chief Astronomer
4. Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion
5. Influenster Now Accepting 2019 Women in STEM Academic Scholarship Applications
6. Women in space: Roscosmos sets sights on creating female crew of cosmonauts, says source
7. Mind The Gap: Women Underrepresented In Awarding Of Prestigious Prizes
8. When Bankwest's female tech staff are told "girls don't hack", this is what they do...
9. Job Opportunities  
10. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
11. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
12. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Cross-post: Women in Planetary Science, Summary of DPS 2018 Planetary Allyship Meeting

The Women in Planetary Science blog this week featured a summary of last fall's Planetary Allyship Meeting at the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) conference. The group held their fourth annual DPS event where they discussed "how people from non-marginalized groups can support equity in the scientific community". In the blog entry, the event organizers summarized the discussion and provided action items for those interested in working toward change.

Read more at:

Friday, January 18, 2019

AASWomen Newsletter for January 18, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of January 18, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Cristina Thomas, Maria Patterson, and JoEllen McBride

This week's issues:

1. The Importance of Names in Astronomy

2. The AAS Climate Site Visit Program

3. Final Report of the 2018 AAS Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in Astronomy Graduate Education

4. Shades of U.S.

5. Women who win prizes get less money and prestige

6. Biology Lab Strips James Watson of All Honorary Titles After 'Reprehensible' Race Remarks

7. Mythbusters Jr.'s Tamara Robertson on Getting Girls into STEM Careers

8. Symposium Highlighting Evidence-Based Interventions to Address the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

9. It's Time to Rethink How You Find a Mentor at Work

10. Girls’ self-confidence falls below that of boys from around age of six – but not if they go to a single-sex school, Australian study finds

11. AI Solves Gender Bias, Puts Overlooked Women Scientists In Spotlight

12. CORRECTION! Save the Date! MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTIONS: America's Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce.

13. Job Opportunities

14. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

15. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

16. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Importance of Names in Astronomy

Figure from Dr. Grier's Medium article. NASA Photojournal.
Astronomy and Planetary Science are fields with numerous opportunities for naming objects. From the many stars in the sky to the rocks on the surface of Mars, scientists have made many choices about what to call the objects they study. Several recent articles have highlighted the importance of using names that are inclusive and make connections to various cultures.

As Dr. J. A. Grier wrote in her recent Medium article, The Crisis of Naming the Universe: "There are too many awesome names that we can choose from for us to spend one single moment considering a name that hurts anybody at all.  In fact, we can do better than ‘not hurt’ people — we can encourage, lift up, and empower them with our choice of names."

The efforts of many experts who have chosen diverse names have been highlighted in recent articles:

The theme of inclusive naming was also mentioned in Nature's article on the naming of interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian-language experts make their mark on the Solar System).

The IAU recently recognized the Australian Aboriginal names of four stars in the night sky (The stories behind Aboriginal star names now recognized by the world's astronomical body).

The Symmetry Magazine article, Rivers in the Sky, discusses the naming of some Milky Way star streams after native words relating to water or rivers in Chile and Australia. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Astro2020: Co-Chairs announced, Deadline Extended and AAS 233 Astro2020 Town Hall on Wed Jan 9

The National Academy of Sciences has appointed Fiona Harrison and Robert Kennicutt Jr. to co-chair the upcoming Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Astro2020. We encourage our community members to strongly consider having their voices and priorities for the next decade heard through white paper submissions, especially our junior, female and/or underrepresented minority professionals and those served by AAS diversity committees.

Please also consider attending the Decadal Survey Town Hall and Astro2020 Status Report at the upcoming AAS 233 meeting in Seattle, Wed. Jan. 9, 6:30-8 PM, Room 6B.

Anyone wishing to provide scientific input to Astro2020 now has an extra month to do so. The window for submitting science white papers opens at 12:01 am Eastern Time on Monday, 7 January 2019 and submissions will be accepted through 5:00 pm ET on Tuesday, 19 February 2019. This call is only for science white papers.  Later calls are anticipated for other topics, like missions, facilities, policy, and the state of the profession.

Cross-post: AAS 233 events from the CSMA Newsletter

The winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society will take place Sunday January 6 through Thursday January 10 in Seattle, WA. This cross-post contains events and sessions featured in the latest CSMA Newsletter that may be of interest to those supporting astronomers of color and social justice topics. We have supplemented the listing with additional events featuring the other AAS diversity committees.