Friday, July 29, 2016

AASWomen Newsletter for July 29, 2016

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 29, 2016
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Elysse Voyer, Heather Flewelling, and Christina Thomas

This week's issues:

1. An ongoing act of creation - Professional Organizations & Policy

2. The Nashville Recommendations for Inclusive Astronomy

3. What happened to women in computer science?

4. Kids Benefit From Having a Working Mom

5. Nominations Solicited for the 2017 Lecar Prize

6. Job Opportunities

7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

9. Access to Past Issues

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Nashville Recommendations for Inclusive Astronomy

In June 2015, 160 astronomers, sociologists, policy makers and community leaders convened the first Inclusive Astronomy meeting at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, TN. The goal of this meeting was to discuss the issues affecting people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer/genderfluid, agender, intersex, queer, questioning, or asexual (LGBTIQA*) people; people with disabilities; women; people disenfranchised by their socio-economic status; and everyone who holds more than one of these underrepresented identities in the astronomical community.  A key focus of this meeting was examination of issues of intersectionality: the well-established conceptualization that racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, and ableism are often linked (e.g., that women of color are faced with the intersection of racism and sexism).  Here is a summary of the final version which the AAS Council has endorsed.
The full Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Recommendations are available here.

Monday, July 25, 2016

An ongoing act of creation - Professional Organizations & Policy

Today I’d like to explore a question - What are professional societies for? I’m hoping this anecdote from a meeting I recently attended will help you interrogate your place in our professional societies - Who do we pay money to? Where does it go? What do you hope to get out of a group for yourself, your students, your colleagues? What role do our societies play in our larger world? 

I recently attended the SPIE (Society for Professional Industrial Engineers) Astronomical Instrumentation conference. SPIE Astro draws astronomers, but also engineers of all stripes (mechanical, optical, electrical, software, systems) from all career stages. There are a variety of tracks including observatory management, and those focusing on all varieties of earth and ground based facilities, as well as the technology that enables them.

It also an incredibly homogenous conference. I’m going to be honest, it is particularly oppressive. There is often 5-10% women in the room at any given time. Although an international conference, it is heavily Western European especially in the visible roles. It is very white. It is exhausting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cross-Post: "We Got This," featuring take aways from the United State of Women Conference

This feature is a re-post from The Huffingpost, and is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to their site. The original piece can be found here.

About the author: Kimberly Arcand is Visualization Lead for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. She is a co-author of popular science books including “Light: The Visible Spectrum and Beyond“ and “Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos.”

Illustration: NASA/CXC/K.Divona

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CIERA REU Career Panel Discussion

By Aaron Geller

Aaron Geller is director of the Northwestern CIERA REU program and an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow (AAPF) jointly appointed at Northwestern and the Adler Planetarium.  In addition to his REU/EPO activities, Aaron develops astronomy visualizations and researches star clusters and stellar evolution. His interests include dynamics in a star cluster environment and the binary and multiple stars and planetary systems that live inside, and how star clusters contribute to the production of exotic systems.  

Continuing our annual tradition, Northwestern University's CIERA Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program hosted a live, online Career Panel discussion last week for our summer undergraduate researchers, hosted by the director of the CIERA REU program, Aaron Geller. The archived video can be found here:

Astronomers develop an incredibly useful (and employable!) set of skills while pursuing their degree and research interests. The latest stats indicate that while ~75% of recent astronomy Ph.D.s accepted a postdoc position, over 80% eventually pursue careers outside the tenure track faculty route.  

Similar to last year, one theme running through this panel discussion was the transference of skills and knowledge obtained during our panelists' Ph.D. to their current jobs, and what opportunities students should pursue during graduate school to prepare themselves for the range of careers available. 

Melissa Nysewander - Director of Data Science at Fidelity Investments
Leslie Sage - Senior Editor, Physical Sciences, Nature
Colette Salyk - Faculty Vassar College
Francesca Valsecci - Data Scientist / Consultant at Clarity Solution Group
Eric Wilcots - Faculty/Dean University of Wisconsin - Madison