Friday, August 19, 2022

AASWomen Newsletter for August 19, 2022

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 19, 2022
eds: Jeremy Bailin, Nicolle Zellner, Alessandra Aloisi, and Sethanne Howard

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. --eds.]

This week's issues:

Leisa Townsley, 1964-2022
1. Passing of Dr. Leisa Townsley 
2. Special Message on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization
3. Seeking Co-Chairs for Cross-AG IDEA Working Group
4. Two New Books!
5. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
6. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
7. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

An online version of this newsletter will be available at at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.


1. Passing of Dr. Leisa Townsley
From: Eric Feigelson, Sarah Gallagher, and Ann Hornschemeier Cardiff via

With great sadness, we have learned of the passing of Dr. Leisa Townsley. She passed away peacefully in Colorado, after a battle with cancer, on Monday August 8th with her life-long partner Pat Broos at her side. She worked at Penn State for more than 28 years as a leader and, subsequently, the Penn State PI, for the Chandra ACIS instrument. She and Pat had relocated to Utah, and then Colorado in 2014 to work remotely for Penn State in anticipation of their retirement there.  

Leisa had a rich and substantial character and demonstrated fundamental integrity as a person and a scientist. She was greatly respected and will be deeply missed by the high-energy astrophysics community and others who knew her.

Read more about Leisa’s life and her work and share your memories at

2. Special Message on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization
From: AAS President Kelsey Johnson via AAS News

The impact of the US Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has been deeply felt by many AAS members, and we have been paying close attention to the ongoing court cases. The safety of our members and AAS staff must be the highest priority and guide our decisions alongside our mission, “To enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community.”

The gravity of these matters requires careful consideration and discussion of both intended and unintended consequences as well as ensuring the AAS leadership hears your perspectives. We are listening, and it is clear that AAS members have diverse views. I have carved out time at upcoming meetings of the Board of Trustees to engage in this discussion and determine the best course of action with respect to the Supreme Court ruling. For this discussion and any resulting decisions that the Board makes to be robust, it is imperative that we hear from AAS members to inform our dialog and ensure we are as well-informed as possible of member views.


3. Seeking Co-Chairs for Cross-AG IDEA Working Group
From: Parvathy Prem []

The Cross-AG Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Working Group (IDEA WG) is looking for a new Co-Chair! The IDEA WG aims to support NASA and the Planetary Science Assessment/Analysis Groups (AGs) in building a more inclusive planetary science community, by developing and disseminating relevant resources, findings, and recommendations. The WG periodically reports to the Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC), which is tasked with advising NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

The two WG Co-Chairs are responsible for organizing WG meetings, co-creating strategies for advancing IDEA in planetary science, and advocating for the group's consensus recommendations. Membership is open to all, but you do not need to be a current member of the WG in order to apply for the Co-Chair position. Applications for the open Co-Chair position are due by Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Questions and applications (which can be submitted in written, video, audio, or other form) should be sent to 

More about the Working Group and application guidelines can be found at 

4. Two New Books!
From: Nicolle Zellner []

Two new books about women in Astronomy and Planetary Science have hit the bookshelves. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, PI of the Psyche mission to an iron asteroid and a professor at Arizona State University, has described how science can heal and connect in her autobiography “A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman: A Memoir”. In “The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words”, editors Virginia Trimble and David A. Weintraub collected self-reflections from 37 women astronomers who are reshaping the landscape for themselves and for future astronomers all over the world.

Read more about these books at 


5. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to .

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.

6. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List through the online portal:

To Subscribe, go to, and in the "Subscribe" area, add in your name, email address, select "The AASWomen Weekly Newsletter", and click subscribe.  You will be sent an email with a link to click to confirm subscription.

To unsubscribe from AAS Women by email:

Go to, in the "My account and unsubscriptions", type your email address. You will receive an email with a link to access your account, from there you can click the unsubscribe link for this mailing list.

7. Access to Past Issues

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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