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AASWomen Newsletter for March 22, 2024

AstronomyAASWomen Newsletter for March 22, 2024


AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of March 22, 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. Alenush Terian: The the “Mother of Modern Iranian Astronomy”
2. Study finds media coverage focused on NASA mathematician’s achievements, but treated discrimination as past problem
3. Margaret Hamilton: the woman who sent humans to the moon
4. What Are Stars Made Of? Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Discovered It First
5. Women in STEM: Representation Matters
6. Connecting girls in Brazil to inspiring female scientists
7. How a woman in science is using her background to inspire girls to get into STEM
8. Job Opportunities
9. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
10. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
11. 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. Alenush Terian: The the “Mother of Modern Iranian Astronomy”

From: Nicolle Zellner via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

She is called the “Mother of Modern Iranian Astronomy” and for good reason: she was a cofounder of the first solar observatory in Iran and the first female professor of physics in the country. Her achievements become much more impressive once we learn that, besides being a woman in a patriarchal society, she also belonged to a religious and ethnic minority.

Alenush Terian was born in Tehran on November 9, 1920, to an Armenian family. Her father, Arto Terian, and mother, Varto Terian, were two famous faces in the city’s Armenian theater. Arto owned a drama workshop and had studied theater and acted in Moscow. Varto was a graduate of literature and rhetoric and became one of the first Iranian women to direct a play.

Her parents supported her choice of engaging in a different career path, Alenush said in an interview: “My parents had a very clear and modern mindset, and weren’t the type to prevent me from studying or impose a certain field of study on me. Since they were artists and I had some writing experience, they had hoped I would pursue a degree in literature. But when they found out that I wanted to study physics, they didn’t show any opposition, and always encouraged and supported me on this path.”

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2024/03/alenush-terian-the-mother-of-modern.html

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2. Study finds media coverage focused on NASA mathematician’s achievements, but treated discrimination as past problem

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By University of Kansas

“Without Katherine Johnson, NASA would not have landed a man on the moon. The 2016 film “Hidden Figures” told Johnson’s story as a brilliant mathematician, a trailblazer who overcame racism and sexism to succeed at NASA in the 1950s and ’60s. That monumental career was again examined in the media following her death in 2020.

A new study from the University of Kansas analyzed news coverage of Johnson’s death, finding that coverage focused on her achievements first but also tended to depict the race- and gender-based discrimination she faced as a problem of the past.”

Read more at

https://phys.org/news/2024-03-media-coverage-focused-nasa-mathematician.html

Read the journal article at

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00219347231225746

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3. Margaret Hamilton: the woman who sent humans to the moon

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Andrew Miltiadou

“Rosalind Franklin solved the structure of DNA, Marie Curie pioneered research on radioactivity, and Lise Meitner was a key player in the discovery of nuclear fission. If like me, you were a STEMinite and took science A-levels, you were exposed to the groundbreaking accomplishments these women made – and when you consider the extent of social biases at the time, you realise these pioneers acted as so much more than scientists: they broke a chain of social norms that defined their role in science as nothing but invasive.

Praise readily falls on these women nowadays and many hail them as the perfect role models, not restricted to young women seeking to make a career in STEM. However, not all women in science were lucky. Countless stories are told of breakthroughs overseen because of gender – even Dr Franklin, the most famous female biologist to date, was robbed of a Nobel Prize with Crick and Watson.

One particularly disregarded story is that of Margaret Hamilton, a software engineering frontrunner that enabled the infamous landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.”

Read more at

Margaret Hamilton: the woman who sent humans to the moon

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4. What Are Stars Made Of? Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Discovered It First

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Pavi Vyas

“British-American astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin remained an unsung hero of the astronomy world. Discovering the composition of stars in the universe, Cecilia – who did not get her due – paved the path for women in STEM in more ways than one. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a name not as widely known as it should be, holds a pivotal place in our understanding of the universe. This astronomer, born in 1900, revolutionised our knowledge of stars by revealing their composition through her groundbreaking doctoral thesis in 1925 which was rejected at the time as it is said to have “contradicted the scientific wisdom at the time.” There are many more contributions of Payne in the field of science and for women.”

Read more at

https://www.shethepeople.tv/womens-firsts/cecilia-payne-gaposchkin-first-woman-astronomer-to-discover-stars-material-4362780

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5. Women in STEM: Representation Matters

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Laurie Locascio

“Growing up as a scientist, I did not see role models who looked like me. I grew up in a small town where my father was a physicist — and my role model. He nurtured me to be a scientist just like him. I am so grateful he did not have different expectations for me and my brothers. He always told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be. Today, I am a Ph.D. scientist, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). All of these are professional roles that fulfill me and in which I am incredibly honored to serve.

During my career, I have seen that many women in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), have had similar experiences as they advanced in education and at work: A paucity of women in STEM has meant that some of our most impactful advocates and mentors have been people different from us. This is changing as women increasingly enter STEM fields.”

Read more at

https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2024/03/women-stem-representation-matters

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6. Connecting girls in Brazil to inspiring female scientists

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

By Julie Gould

In 2013, physicist Carolina Brito co-launched Meninas na Ciência (Girls in Science), a programme based in the physics department at Brazil’s Federal University of Rio Grande de Sul.

The programme exposes girls to university life, including lab visits and meetings with female academics. “There are several girls who have never met someone who has been to university,” says Brita. “It’s beyond a gender problem.”

Listen to the interview and read the transcript at

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00804-3

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7. How a woman in science is using her background to inspire girls to get into STEM

From: Jeremy Bailin [jbailin_at_ua.edu]

Emily Calandrelli, host of the former Netflix show Emily’s Wonder Lab, talks on NPR’s Morning Edition about getting girls interested in STEM.

Hear the interview and read the transcript at

https://www.npr.org/2024/03/14/1238496132/how-a-woman-in-science-is-using-her-background-to-inspire-girls-to-get-into-stem

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8. 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/Instructor of Physics, Emory University, Oxford, GA

https://apply.interfolio.com/141291

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9. 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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10. 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.

To unsubscribe from AAS Women by email:

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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11. Access to Past Issues

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

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