Friday, January 16, 2015

AASWOMEN Newsletter for January 16, 2015

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of January 16, 2015
eds: Daryl Haggard, Nicolle Zellner, Meredith Hughes, & Elysse Voyer

This week's issues:



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From: Joan Schmelz via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

Women of color (WoC) are at the intersection of race and gender. While they experience issues that arise for both women and minority groups, they are often overlooked in efforts on behalf of either category, to the detriment of their persistence in academia. The next section of this article enumerates barriers that face WoC in astronomy, starting with those that particularly affect career establishment (early graduate student to postdoctoral) and moving to those that impact later career stages. Later sections describe steps toward solutions to these problems, measures taken by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), and lessons learned from academic programs.

Read about the barriers and recommendations to remove them at 


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From: Nancy Morrison [nancyastro126_at_gmail.com]

At the 225th AAS meeting in Seattle, the CSWA hosted Special Session 209, which was entitled, "What Have We Learned from the NSF ADVANCE Program and What’s Next?" From the meeting program:

"... The NSF ADVANCE program, which began in 2001 and invested over $135 million in projects, endeavored to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers by addressing specific aspects of academic/institutional culture that affected women differently. ..."

This stimulating session was organized by Johanna Teske and by Neil Gehrels of CSWA and chaired by Gehrels.

The session program and the speakers' materials are on line here:


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From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Study after study has shown that women either leak out of the STEM pipeline or don’t even enter it at all.  In a new study, published in Science, Andrei Cimpian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and philosopher Sarah-Jane Leslie of Princeton University, report that society sees female scientists as lacking the 'innate brilliance' needed to succeed in the field. In fact, “women are stereotypically seen as less likely to possess these special intellectual gifts.”

For more information, please see


and


Read the published article at


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From: Ruth Schmitter [rschmitter_at_albion.edu]

In order to advance their careers, women often receive the message that they should “Negotiate more! –Stop being such a wimp! –Stop being such a witch!” The Association for Women in Science is hosting a webinar that tells women they are not to blame. “The simple fact is that office politics often benefit men over women.” The webinar, presented by Joan C. Williams, the Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California, will describe how to navigate workplaces that are shaped by implicit bias.

Find out more about this workshop at


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From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Piazza, an on-line question-and-answer platform, reports that while women enrolled in both computer science and other STEM courses ask more questions than their male counterparts, they answer fewer and prefer to do so anonymously. These were the findings from the “U.S and Canadian actions” occurring on its platform in 2013 and 2014.  Interestingly, “as students progress from lower-level to higher-level computer science coursework, both men and women become slightly less confident”.

Read a summary of this study at 


Read the full study at


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From: Meg Urry [meg.urry_at_yale.edu]

Peter Gaposchkin, son of Cecilia Payne- Gaposchkin and sister of Katherine Harumandis, passed away in October in Berkeley, due to complications from an accident.

Read his obituary at


and at


Learn more about Katherine Harumandis at


Learn more about their mother, Celia Payne-Gaposchkin, at


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Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.