Wednesday, April 17, 2024

AASWomen Newsletter for March 15, 2024

AstronomyAASWomen Newsletter for March 15, 2024


AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of March 15, 2024
eds: Jeremy Bailin, Nicolle Zellner, Sethanne Howard, and Hannah Jang-Condell

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

This week’s issues:

1. Cross-post: They were astronomers
2. Call for SGMA Committee Members
3. NA-ROAD Women and Girls in Astronomy Program
4. Francesca Primas recognised for promoting gender equity
5. ASTRON Director Jessica Dempsey: ‘The time when we didn’t want women in science is over’
6. Dr. Patricia (Trish) Henning: Leading the Way in Radio Astronomy
7. Discover the pioneering woman scientist who mapped the moon
8. Interviews with women at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center
9. Canadian Physics Counts: An exploration of the diverse identities of physics students and professionals in Canada
10. Indigenous women find their stride in physics
11. Why retaining women in science is a major challenge
12. There is no cookie cutter female scientist
13. Hundreds of Upcoming Women Scientists Call for More Inclusivity in STEM
14. Job Opportunities
15. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
16. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
17. Access to Past Issues

An online version of this newsletter will be available at http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.


1. Cross-post: They were astronomers

From: Nicolle Zellner via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

By Katie Palmieri for Physics Today

In astronomy, there was a strong demand for educated women, who were hired as human computers at facilities such as the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London; the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Mount Wilson Observatory near Pasadena, California. But their work was routine and required only a basic knowledge of mathematics, not advanced astronomical or astrophysical training. Those observatories hired women because they provided cheap and reliable labor. At Greenwich, for example, calculations had previously been carried out by boys. And at Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, women without college degrees were preferred precisely because they were cheaper.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2024/03/cross-post-they-were-astronomers.html

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2. Call for SGMA Committee Members

From: Yuxi Lu for the American Astronomical Society

The AAS Committee for Sexual-Orientation and Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA) works to promote equality for sexual-orientation and gender minorities (SGMs) within our profession, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer, or asexual.

We welcome applications to join the SGMA committee for a three-year term starting in June 2024. This year, we expect to have at least three openings on the SGMA committee. Please feel free to forward this message to others who may be interested. The deadline to apply is 31 March 2024 at 11:59 pm ET.

Read more at

https://aas.org/posts/news/2024/03/call-sgma-committee-members

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3. NA-ROAD Women and Girls in Astronomy Program

From: Karla Sofia Garcia

Dear Friends of NA-ROAD,

It is with great pleasure that I can present the Women and Girls in Astronomy Program (WGAP) for a second year in a row, which will be launching its 2024 cycle with the WGAP Call for Projects.

Launched in 2023, the Women and Girls in Astronomy Program (WGAP) strives to inspire and support women, girls, and underrepresented genders in the field of astronomy. Implemented by the North American Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (NA-ROAD) and the International Astronomical Union Office of Astronomy for Outreach, the program will target aspiring astronomers and current professionals alike, establishing a network to uplift, educate, connect with, and provide opportunities to women and girls. Our goal is to make a significant impact in communities with limited or no access to astronomy by funding development projects and creating a diverse network of professionals.

Last year we supported 10 WGAP projects across North America and concluded the 2023 cycle by presenting five of the selected projects at the 243rd American Astronomical Society meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, our initiative will select ten unique astronomy for development projects and award them with $2,000 USD mini-grants. We will be accepting project proposals until Sunday, March 31st at 11:59 EDT. The full details can be found on the website. The posters and Google Forms are available in Spanish and French as well, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to have a copy of those versions.

We would appreciate your support in spreading the word about the Call for Projects, which can help us reach a wider audience and attract a variety of projects. We will be supporting projects that take place in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico and Greenland and we would love to connect with those in your networks who can benefit from this opportunity.

Read more, including the poster and Google form, at

Women and Girls Astronomy Program

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4. Francesca Primas recognised for promoting gender equity

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By European Southern Observatory

Francesca Primas, Full Astronomer at ESO, has been honoured with the inaugural Nancy Grace Roman Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). Primas is the first person to receive this award, which was introduced this year to recognise an “individual or group for significant contributions to promoting gender equity and inclusion in astronomy and related fields”.

Primas is a renowned astrophysicist researching the chemical evolution of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies. She’s also a trailblazer in promoting gender equity in astronomy in general and at ESO specifically.

Some 15 years ago, she conducted a study on the status of women at ESO to evaluate the gender distribution across the organisation. The results were disappointing, with the study finding only 18% of staff members identified as female, but served as the basis for discussion and future action to promote diversity, equity and inclusion at ESO. Primas spearheaded much of this work, including co-founding ESO’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Since then, the percentage of staff identifying as female has grown to over 26%, with ESO aiming to increase this further.

Read more at

https://www.eso.org/public/czechrepublic/announcements/ann23015/

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5. ASTRON Director Jessica Dempsey: ‘The time when we didn’t want women in science is over’

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Faye Welch

Women in senior positions in science are rare. Jessica Dempsey, Director of ASTRON, knows this better than anyone. She wants to turn this tide, so she is appealing to interested women parties today, on International Women’s Day, to come and work for her.

Since taking over as president of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Australian Jessica Dempsey has had a clear goal in mind: to make science more attractive to women. “As a woman at the top of radio astronomy, you look around and realize you are the only one,” she said in 2022 upon her appointment. “This is a tough place to be and there has to be room for improvement.”

She has now been at the helm for nearly two years, and says she is going completely against the grain. “We have succeeded in giving women equal expertise in other fields, but this is lagging behind in science. More specifically in the technological branch of science. We have to change that. The time is over when we did not want women represented.”

Read more at

ASTRON Director Jessica Dempsey: 'The time when we didn't want women in science is over'

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6. Dr. Patricia (Trish) Henning: Leading the Way in Radio Astronomy

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By National Radio Astronomy Observatory

This International Women’s Day, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) celebrates the selection of Dr. Patricia (Trish) Henning as the next Associate Director for New Mexico Operations. In this position, she will lead the operations of the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and the Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro. She formerly served as NRAO’s Assistant Director for New Mexico Operations and Assistant Director for Science Support and Research.

Dr. Henning’s journey to the forefront of radio astronomy began with a passion for unraveling the mysteries of the Universe. After earning her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Maryland, she received a postdoctoral appointment at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, where she honed her expertise in the field. In 1993, Dr. Henning joined the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she was a professor of physics and astronomy, and held various leadership roles while continuing her groundbreaking research with radio telescopes.

Read more at

Dr. Patricia (Trish) Henning: Leading the Way in Radio Astronomy

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7. Discover the pioneering woman scientist who mapped the moon

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

Mary Blagg, astronomer from the early 20th century, published her first paper in the British Astronomical Association Journal in 1906, and her masterwork on mapping lunar craters was published in 1913. She was one of the first women to become a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. The Cheadle Moon project is commmorating 80 years since her death.

Read more at

https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/stories/discover-pioneering-woman-scientist-who-mapped-moon

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8. Interviews with women at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Astrogeology Science Center

Women’s Day is internationally celebrated on March 8. This is an important day to remember how far women have come in traditionally male-dominated fields. Doors are opened in many places, where there once were only walls.

At Astrogeology, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or to be able to train astronauts to contribute to the exploration of the Solar System. We are proud of all the work we undertake together in this Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. Here are a few words some of the women here have said about working at Astrogeology.

Read more at

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/astrogeology-science-center/news/international-womens-day-we-aim-inspire-women-and-girls

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9. Canadian Physics Counts: An exploration of the diverse identities of physics students and professionals in Canada

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Eden J. Hennessey, Anastasia Smolina, et al.

There has never been a comprehensive survey of the physics community in Canada.

Together with the Canadian Association of Physicists and the Laurier Centre for Women in Science (WinS), in November 2020 we organized the largest-ever survey of the Canadian physics community. The objective was to answer three main questions: who are the physicists in Canada, what do they do, and what are their experiences in the physics community?

We received over three-thousand responses, giving us the statistical power to investigate research questions that have never been studied before. Our team of physicists and social scientists with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives are working on a thorough analysis, and aim to publish our findings in two publications focused on demographics and experiences respectively.

Read more at

https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.04679

https://www.canphyscounts.ca/

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10. Indigenous women find their stride in physics

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Los Alamos National Laboratory

Elaina Saltclah, from the Red Mesa, Arizona area, near the Four Corners, first introduces herself in her native Navajo language, including the names of her clans. A Fort Lewis College student majoring in physics, with a minor in mathematics, and a young mother, Saltclah speaks with a self-assured smile, her confidence bolstered through participation in a novel program connecting students like her with a future in the daunting world of physics research.

“What made me interested in physics is simple curiosity into something ordinary, like the stars, or gravity,” Saltclah explained. “That fundamental curiosity about why things are the way they are is what drove me to the field.”

Our everyday experience of the stars or gravity belies the complex physics that underpins the mysteries of such phenomena and how they behave. And Saltclah, within the unique physics education partnership between Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and Los Alamos National Laboratory that has her traveling to work on advanced experiments and conduct research with Los Alamos physicists, is now deep into studying those mysteries, such as the nature of quark-gluon plasma, which formed the universe in its first microseconds after the Big Bang.

Read more at

https://discover.lanl.gov/publications/connections/2024-march/indigenous-women-physics/

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11. Why retaining women in science is a major challenge

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Vanita Srivastava

Science, technology and innovation have the potential to bring about a radical change in the lives of the people. They play a pivotal role in the growth of a nation. For women and girls, this has brought a new ecosystem of freedom and employment opportunities.

However, the number of women in science continues to be low. The situation for women in science may have improved over the years but the progress has been slow. Women in science still face discrimination but it is in a more subtle way.

Disparities in funds, limited promotion avenues, few leadership roles and lack of mentorship have resulted in low retention of women in the field of science.

Read more at

https://www.cnbctv18.com/science/international-womens-day-retaining-women-in-science-sexual-harassment-lack-of-motivation-challenges-19228071.htm

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12. There is no cookie cutter female scientist

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Julie Gould

In her role as Vice Rector for research partnerships and collaboration at the University of the Valley in Guatemala City, Monica Stein works to strengthen science and technology ecosystems in the Central American country and across the wider region.

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Stein outlines the steps needed to attract girls into science careers. Access to higher education needs to widen, she argues, alongside more robust legal and regulatory frameworks to make research careers more diverse.

“We need to inspire other women, we need to mentor other women, we need to be available for conversations,” she says. “We need to tell them it’s okay to say no to a project, because you’re pregnant, just giving birth, or your child is young, which is something that is so common here in Guatemala.”

This episode is the first episode in a six-part Working Scientist podcast series about Latin American women in science.

Listen to the interview or read the transcript at

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00703-7

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13. Hundreds of Upcoming Women Scientists Call for More Inclusivity in STEM

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By International Atomic Energy Association

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, over 400 fellows from the IAEA’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes came together in Vienna, to voice their shared vision for a more inclusive future in nuclear science and technology, as part of a two-day training and networking event. Read their full statement at

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/international-womens-day-hundreds-of-upcoming-women-scientists-call-for-more-inclusivity-in-stem

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14. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:

https://aas.org/comms/cswa/resources/Diversity#howtoincrease

– Visiting Assistant Professor/Instuctor of Physics, Emory University, Oxford, GA

https://apply.interfolio.com/141291

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15. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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

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.

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16. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List through the online portal:

To Subscribe, go to https://aas.simplelists.com/aaswlist/subscribe/ and enter your name and email address, and click Subscribe. You will be sent an email with a link to click to confirm subscription.

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Go to https://aas.simplelists.com, 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.

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17. Access to Past Issues

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/search/label/AASWOMEN

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