AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of June 24, 2011
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1.  One Up, One Down: Your Comments

2.  Statistics of Women in Planetary Science

3.  Women Speaker Numbers at Solar Physics Division Meeting 2011

4.  APS International Travel Grant

5.  APS Professional Skills Development Workshop

6.  Job Announcements

7.  How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

8.  How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

9.  How to Access Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. One Up, One Down: Your Comments
From:  Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

[The June 17, 2011 issue of AASWOMEN contained information gained  
recently from a workshop that provided advice to women in science on  
"Communicating in a Male Dominated Field."  One piece of advice was to  
ignore insults from male colleagues as males, in general, communicate  
via "One Up, One Down."  Here are two readers feedback, one of whom  
requests your advice.]

From Sabine Moehler [smoehler_at_eso.org]
"I wonder if this nasty experience might be related to the field you  
work in. So far I never had that experience, even though most of my  
colleagues are men. I have been working in stellar astrophysics for  
more than 20 years and yet have to come across a reaction like the one  
you describe. I hope that my experience is more typical than yours."

From Anonymous
"I'm so lucky to have several collaborators and advisors, male and  
female, whom I can count on to give me constructive feedback and treat  
even my half-formed ideas in a thoughtful, encouraging, and  
non-patronizing manner. But there are other people whose treatment of  
me and/or other women is more ambiguous. How do deal with someone who:
- Is polite to you in a group setting but very patronizing one-on-one,  
or visa versa
- Was patronizing or ignored you when you first met, but now that you  
have an interesting new result is very flattering and encouraging
- Or is flattering and encouraging only when he wants your help with something
- Always treats *you* respectfully, but you've heard or even witnessed  
him being rude and dismissive toward someone else
- Or you've heard or witnessed him engaging in "mildly" sexist  
behavior like discouraging women students from becoming astronomers if  
they want to have children

How do you work with people like this? Do they deserve to be snubbed?  
How do you respond to praises from people who have only seen this  
astronomer's good side?

When someone who was originally patronizing starts to seem genuinely  
interested in my work, I begin to think I misjudged him originally.   
And I feel a bit bad about enjoying an interesting conservation with  
someone I know is rude to others.

I don't expect anyone to be perfect and I'm very willing to forgive  
people for their mistakes. And as a very junior person, I expect to  
have to prove myself to some extent. But a lot of these people don't  
seem to have any inkling of how inconsistent their behavior is."

[Please respond with advice to AASWomen (see How to Submit to the  
AASWomen Newsletter below) or Women in Astronomy Blog at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/#item4 ]

2.  Statistics of Women in Planetary Science
From:  Michele M. Montgomery_at_women_in_astronomy_blog

The 2011 numbers are in and they are shocking!  Of the 45 that  
responded, the top 11 institutions that have all-male planetary  
science tenured or tenure-track faculty, and at least four planetary  
science faculty, are ranked below in order of most-to-fewest faculty  

1. UC Santa Cruz
2. Washington University
3. California Institute of Technology
4. Cornell University
5. University of Central Florida
6. Boston University
7. Brown University
8. Princeton University
9. Rice University
10. University of Maryland
11. University of Michigan

Twenty-four percent (24%) of institutions that have tenured or tenure  
track planetary science faculty are all male!  However, the percentage  
of women in temporary planetary science positions (faculty, research  
scientists, post docs) at these 48 institutions is 28%!  The  
University of Arizona has four tenured or tenure-track females,  
however this number pales in comparison to the thirty tenured or  
tenure-track men.  On a brighter note, MIT earns a shiny silver star  
as it has the highest female/male tenured or tenure-track planetary  
science faculty at 3/8.

Is the problem with the above listed institutions their hiring  
practices?  Statistics imply that men are hired for tenure-track and  
women are hired for non-tenure track planetary science positions,  
especially at the above-listed institutions.  If institutions have all  
male faculty, how likely is it that a women will be interviewed and  
hired?   Is what women planetary science faculty have to offer  
considered not worthy at the above listed institutions?  If so, why?

The 2011 Astrophysics Job Rumor Mill short list is all-male for UC  
Santa Cruz.  Cornell and University of Maryland have hired only males  
in 2011 although Cornell's short list contains a few women.   
University of Michigan's shortlist has only one male astronomy  
candidate.  Princeton University's shortlist was more even at one  
female and one male.  Anna Frebel is short-listed at MIT, University  
of Arizona, and UC Berkeley.  Do these institutions think she is the  
only female in astronomy worthy of an interview?  Statistics of which  
universities interview the same female/male candidates and only one  
female candidate are also note worthy for future studies.

To read more statistics on planetary science, please see


To see the Rumor Mill, please see


[Note:  Michele Montgomery is at the University of Central Florida  
(number 5 in the list above) in a non-tenure track line and the only  
female in that planetary science group.  The reader can draw their own  
conclusion on whether this planetary science group considers women's
contributions worthy as my opinion is very biased.]

3.   Women Speaker Numbers at Solar Physics Division Meeting 2011
From:   Anonymous

I recently attended the Solar Physics Division (SPD) 2011 Meeting, in  
Las Cruces, NM. In light of the recent discussions regarding female  
invited speakers, I kept track of the gender of the speakers at this  
meeting on my own, and was disheartened at the results: It appears  
that women were underrepresented in the number of oral presentations  
given, either in the 'invited' (or otherwise distinguished) category,  
or the 'contributed'. Below are the detailed results.

There were 7 total distinguished speakers (Special Invited, Public  
Lecture, Parker Lecture, Hale Prize, Harvey Prize), 6 ( 86%) of whom  
are male, and 1 (14%) of whom is female. Of the regular, or  
contributed speakers, there were a total of 70 talks, 55 (79%) of whom  
were male, and only 15 (21%) of whom were female. Did the science  
organizing committee exhibit a bias in assigning the abstracts  
submitted by women to posters? Do these numbers suggest a bias towards  
giving talks to males more often than to females?

One way to address this question is to ask: how does the 20% female  
/80% male ratio compare with the percent of total conference attendees  
who were female? How does the 20%/80% ratio compare with the percent  
of submitted abstracts which had female first authors? How does this  
ratio compare with the percent of submitted abstracts which had female  
first authors who specifically requested a talk? I do not have answers  
to these questions, but perhaps others in the community know these  

Perhaps the 20%/80% numbers are in proportion to the number of females  
who attended the conference. Perhaps females attended the conference  
in equal numbers, but were less likely than males to submit an  
abstract as the first author. Perhaps females were less likely than  
males to request a talk. Whatever the reasons - whether it is a bias  
exhibited by the organizing committee, or that females are simply  
requesting talks less often than males - it is important to understand  

Finally, there was some outcry from the SPD community over the number  
of talks during the meeting relative to the number of posters. It was  
felt that far too many people who requested talks were instead given  
posters. If it is the case that males were preferentially chosen out  
of the pool of submitted abstracts to give talks, it is further  
frustrating that too many people who wanted a talk did not get one.

I am curious how others who were or were not at the meeting felt about  
this, and what solutions exist.

[Please respond with advice to AASWomen (see How to Submit to the  
AASWomen Newsletter below).]

[To see the context of these numbers, please visit: percent.html - Webmaster]

4.  APS International Travel Grant
From:  WIPHYS, June 17, 2011

Following the initiative of the APS Forum on International Physics  
(FIP), the sponsors of the APS International Travel Grant Award  
Program (ITGAP) recognize that funding for collaborations between  
developed and developing country scientists is often insufficient to  
meet existing needs and opportunities. The ITGAP provides up to US  
$2,000 for travel and lodging expenses for international travel while  
visiting a collaborator. Deadline is July 13, 2011.  For more details  
and to apply, visit:


5.  APS Professional Skills Development Workshop
From:  WIPHYS, June 17, 2011

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation, APS will offer  
another year of Professional Skills Development Workshops for Women  
Physicists. The March 2012 meeting workshop in Boston will focus on  
postdoctoral associates and senior faculty and scientists. The April  
2012 Meeting workshop in Atlanta will focus on postdoctoral associates  
and early-career faculty and scientists. Senior-level graduate  
students are also encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply, visit [link corrected by Webmaster]:


6.  Job Announcements
From:  WIPHYS, June 17, 2011

[The AASWOMEN newsletter has adopted a simplified format for job ads.   
We will no longer be posting the entire ad, but rather a 1-line  
description of the position and a web site -- Eds.]

The Rochester Institute of Technology Department of Physics invites  
applications for two or more non-tenure track faculty positions at the  
rank of Lecturer. Positions begin August 22, 2011 and may have the  
possibility of renewal.  The primary responsibility of the position is  
teaching introductory physics in an activity-based, workshop format.   
All application materials must be submitted online in one pdf file by  
July 8, 2011 at


(search for IRC47414).

7.  How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

[Please remember to replace "_at_" in the below e-mail addresses.]

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

aaswomen_at_aas.org .

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including  
your email address.

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

8.  How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter, please fill in  
the required information at:

http://lists.aas.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aaswlist .

If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org

9. How to Access Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

Past issues of AASWomen are available at


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

AASWList mailing list


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End of AASWList Digest, Vol 52, Issue 4