Friday, November 27, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

STARtorialist 2020 Holiday Gift Buying Guide

By Emily Rice, Debbie Kovalsky, & Kelle Cruz

Hello from STARtorialist HQ! We are over the moon to have finally launched our online shop this year and are proud to continue supporting fellow small businesses and independent designers, especially during the holiday season. For this year’s gift guide, we are sharing some of our favorite STARtorial products, the majority of which are designed and/or produced by small businesses, many of them women- and/or minority-owned (read more here). Some of them are even designed by scientists (including fellow astronomers), handcrafted, and/or one of a kind! 

We hope this gift guide gives you ideas for your loved ones, seasonal tokens of appreciation, and fun swaps, or even treats for yourself to close out an extra-challenging year. Fair warning that as a small just-opened shop our inventory is limited and many items may sell out, so shop early or send a Gift Card in case that perfect gift is still waiting to be discovered. You can even create a Wishlist directly in the shop (look for the orange buttons on each product page), and share it with family and friends with just a couple clicks. Sign up for the newsletter for a special preview of our Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sale!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Take the Impact of Parenthood on Career Progression in STEMM Survey

Woman with short brown hair holding a megaphone
Image via
There is still time to take the Impact of Parenthood on Career Progression in STEMM survey. This is a broad survey that aims to learn more about how parenthood affects career progression in STEMM and identify obstacles faced by people with children. This survey is open to everyone "working or studying in any professional sector of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine (STEMM), at any career stage." They are especially interested in the responses of fathers. The survey closes Monday, November 30, 2020.

Take the survey at

Learn more about the partners behind the survey at

Washington University in St. Louis
Parent in Science
500 Women Scientists
Femmes & Sciences
International Network of Women in Engineering and Sciences (INWES)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Strategic Plan for the 2020s

By Pat Knezek (former Chair, CSWA) and Nicolle Zellner (current Chair, CSWA) 

During 2018 the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA) collected information via community surveys and forums about what our communities considered to be 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. In a 2019 post, we stated that the goal would be to use this information to (1) develop one or more white papers* that would be submitted to the Decadal Survey as a part of the call for papers on the state of the profession and (2) develop a new strategic plan for the CSWA for the 2020s. 

We are thrilled to tell you that both goals have been accomplished!

In a series of weekly meetings for almost a year, a sub-group+ of the CSWA worked together to evaluate the community input related to four focus areas (Harassment and Bullying; Creating Inclusive Environments; Professional Development, Hiring, and Retention; and Professional Ethics) and identified objectives in each of them. A draft of the resulting Strategic Plan was approved by the entire CSWA, and we then sought input from the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA), the Committee for Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA), the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability (WGAD), the DPS Professional Culture & Climate Subcommittee (PCCS), the AAS Committee on Employment, the AAS Education Committee, and the AAS President, Executive Officer, and Board. 

All of the input was seriously considered, 
and the Strategic Plan reflects the input received by all who responded.

Several of the Focus Areas now have active projects, including finalizing and submitting for publication a summary of the results of our 2019 survey; a proposed evaluation of hiring and retention practices at major institutions; and an evaluation of the dual-anonymous publication review process. Importantly, more intentional communications and collaborations among the AAS diversity committees (CSWA, CSMA, SGMA, and WGAD) are being established. Equally important is that the Strategic Plan is a living document that will be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary.

You will be hearing more about these projects soon, and the CSWA will be seeking volunteers from the community to participate in any that interest them. We look forward to moving forward with these and other projects to come as we now work to implement the Plan!

"Bringing Astronomy Within Reach". Image by Feelsinara,


+ Members of the CSWA who primarily worked on drafting this plan are Jessica Mink, Greg Rudnick, Regina Jorgenson, Maria Patterson, James Tuttle Keane, Tiffany Stone-Wolbrecht, Stella Kafka, Nicolle Zellner, and Pat Knezek.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Meet Your CSWA: Sukanya Chakrabarti

Sukanya got her Ph.d. from UC Berkeley, held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and UC Berkeley, and is currently faculty at RIT.  She works broadly on a number of areas from galactic dynamics to time-domain astronomy.