Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cross-post: How to Find a Woman Scientist

Credit: NASA
An article in the Voices section of Scientific American by Katarzyna Nowak on February 12, 2018 discusses how a new database is fighting the poor visibility of women in STEM by offering female professionals as speakers, panelists, experts, course leaders and advocates for diversity and equity.  For the complete article go to:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/how-to-find-a-woman-scientist/#

Friday, February 16, 2018

AASWomen Newsletter for February 16, 2018

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
February 16, 2018
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Talking About the Tesla          
2. NASA's First Chief Astronomer, the Mother of Hubble 
3. Who’s Important? A tale from Wikipedia   
4. OSA Foundation and The Optical Society celebrates women in our field by sharing special tributes from Members 
5. I want girls to learn math and science — and their own self-worth — despite stereotypes  
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 of the AASWomen Newsletter

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Talking About the Tesla

By Emily Lakdawalla
Emily Lakdawalla is a science writer, author of the forthcoming book The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Does Its Job.

When I first heard about Elon Musk’s plan to launch his own cherry-red Tesla roadster as a dummy mass aloft the inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy, I was nonplussed. Something had to be in that rocket, and there’s no question that the car would be more fun than a block of concrete. But it struck me as a vulgar display of conspicuous consumption, like lighting a cigar with a flaming hundred-dollar bill. NASA - and all the other government-run space agencies - put so much thought and care into the symbols that launch on their spacecraft: the Pioneer plaque, the Voyager golden record, the Martian library on the Phoenix lander. This, by contrast, appeared as one man’s display of wealth and power: I’m rich enough to throw away this car on the rocket I built.

And then the Falcon Heavy launched, and the launch was picture-perfect, especially the stunning synchronized landings of the two side boosters. Seeing that happen, live, while I was flying in an airplane, brought home what a revolutionary moment this was. I was thrilled and inspired, and anticipating the momentous firing of the upper stage that would take it on a trans-Mars trajectory (though not actually to Mars). And, I have to admit, I loved seeing the Starman (named in honor of David Bowie) sitting nonchalantly in the red convertible, the GPS screen reading “DON’T PANIC” (an homage to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy), as the gorgeous globe of Earth passed behind the slowly rotating scene. My friend Judy Schmidt correctly identified (I think) why I found joy in the image -- it’s because of a lifetime immersed in American imagery of the car, the open road, and the freedom and wide-open possibility it makes me feel. Maybe this was art.

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/961043701282713601







Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cross-post: Speak your science: How to give a better conference talk




Emily Lakdawalla posted a piece on the Planetary Society blog February 6th about the importance of communicating your science well.  As she notes, "Bad presentation often gets in the way of good science."  To see her advice about how to improve how you communicate, please see the full posting at:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2018/0206-speak-your-science.html 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

APS Materials on Attracting and Retaining Women and Minorities

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Shutterstock.

It's that time of year - peak hiring season in astronomy.  As has been reported by numerous sources, there is an ongoing need to improve our ability to attract and retain women and minorities in our field.  Now is a good time for those involved in hiring and/or retention to review their practices and ensure that they are maximally effective.  One excellent resource is a website maintained by the American Physical Society (APS), where they cover hiring and retention from undergraduates to faculty, and also have a link to tips provided by the APS Committee on Minorities.  Please see: https://www.aps.org/programs/women/reports/cswppractices/index.cfm#.WmYORrRUO6k.mailto