Thursday, February 28, 2019

Does your conference spark joy? Two days at Women in Space 2019

Group photo from Women in Space 2019
By Adeene Denton

Adeene Denton is a Presidential Fellow pursuing her PhD at Brown University in planetary geoscience, with a focus on early martian climatic and geologic history as well as basin formation on Pluto. She is both a scientist and a historian focused on approaching future planetary exploration from a scientific and humanistic perspective.

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of recaps of the Women in Space conference. Each will feature the viewpoint of someone at a different career stage.

On February 7 and 8, 2019, I returned to the Women in Space conference for its second year of programming. In its inaugural outing in Toronto, I found Women in Planetary Science and Exploration (as it was then called) to be a conference experience unlike any other. Scientists, engineers, humanities scholars, and educators were all welcomed to the space as valued contributors to our discussion. Now in its second year and in a new venue in Scottsdale, Arizona, Women in Space has grown and improved while continuing to be one of the only conferences of its kind: a conference where the experiences of women and non-binary people dictate the programming, rather than having programming made for us by an institution that bears us only a passing, cursory interest. And while no conference is ever perfect, I’m here not to critique Women in Space, but to praise it. I want to talk about the critical things it’s getting right, because it’s the only conference I’ve attended that has done so.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Facing the Future: The CSWA seeks your input on our community needs in the 2020s!

From the CSWA

During 2018 the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) began an effort to gather information about what are seen by our communities as the areas of key importance beyond scientific research that the AAS, its divisions, and its relevant committees (including the CSWA itself) should focus on as we move into the 2020s.  The goal is to use this information to (1) develop one or more white papers that will be submitted to the Decadal Survey as a part of the call for papers on an activity, project, or state of the profession consideration and to (2) develop a new strategic plan for the CSWA for the 2020s.

Our strategy has been to first identify the key areas and potential activities that could be undertaken in these areas by the AAS, its divisions, or relevant committees. We have taken all the input we have received so far and created a survey based on that information.  Now we need you, the members of the communities the AAS and its divisions serve, to tell us which of the many wonderful activities and ideas that have been brought to our attention that you think will have the most impact and/or are the most important to focus on! (And tell us about anything we’ve missed!)  The survey is organized around 4 key areas: Harassment and Bullying; Creating Inclusive Environments; Professional Development, Hiring, and Retention; and Professional Ethics, and also provides an opportunity to provide additional feedback and suggestions.  The more input we have from you, the better we can plan to advocate for you and serve you!  So please take a few minutes to contribute your input – we can’t do it without you!  

The survey is completely confidential and anonymous– we are not gathering any personally identifiable information, nor are we capturing any information on who is accessing the survey. We estimate it will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the evaluation of the activities in the four subtopics. There are additional open-ended questions and room for suggestions that are optional to address in as much or as little detail as the respondent wishes. The survey will be open until Tuesday, April 23, 2019.  It can be accessed at:

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cross-post: The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes

From the Atlantic article (Bettmann/Getty)
"In science, the question of who gets credit for important work—fraught in any field—is set down on paper, for anyone to see. Authorship, given pride of place at the top of scientific papers, can advance reputations and careers; credits buried in the rarely read acknowledgments section do not."

In the Atlantic article, The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes, Ed Yong highlights a team of students led by Emilia Huerta-Sánchez and Rori Rohlfs who searched through decades of acknowledgements in Theoretical Population Biology and discovered that many women were not given the authorships that would be expected for today's researchers.

Read more at: 

Friday, February 8, 2019

AASWOMEN Newsletter for February 8, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of February 08, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, JoEllen McBride, and Ale Aloisi (guest ed.)

[It’s Black History Month! This issue features some resources for including astronomers and physicists of color in your lectures and talks. --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. AAS Public Policy Office Post-Shutdown Town Hall Updates

2. Cross-post: The Woman Who Sees Space First

3. AAWIP Lists African American Women with PhDs Who Identify as Physicists

4. NSBP Black History Month Physics Profiles

5. Gladys West's work on GPS 'would impact the world'

6. Rosalind Franklin: Mars rover named after DNA pioneer

7. This is how science can fix its glaring gender inequality problem

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

9. Grad Students in STEM Talk Lab Culture Issues at Union-Led Discussion

10. The History of Women in Sci-Fi Isn’t What You Think

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 of the AASWomen Newsletter

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cross-post: The Woman Who Sees Space First

A recent Medium article by Shannon Stirone profiles Candice Hansen-Koharcheck. Candice has been been working with ground-breaking images from a series of iconic spacecraft for over 40 years. “To me, these places have gone from being points of light in the sky to being real places,” Hansen-Koharcheck says.

Read more at:

Friday, February 1, 2019

AASWomen Newsletter for February 1, 2019

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
February 1, 2019
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Maria Patterson, and JoEllen McBride

This week's issues: 
Image Credit: Shayanne Gal/Business Insider (August 2018)

1. From young to youthful - the challenges of mid-career  
2. Interviews with Scientist on “Person Place Thing”  
3. Q&A: Pulsar pioneer Jocelyn Bell Burnell
4. Scientists’ salary data highlight US$18,000 gender pay gap
5. How gender disparities in salary add up over a lifetime
6. To learn inclusion skills, make it personal
7. To Groom Better Scientists, Harness the Power of Narrative
8. It’s Time to Rethink Who’s Best Suited for Space Travel 
9. Celebrate the women behind the periodic table
10. Job Opportunities   
11. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
12. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
13. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter