Friday, July 21, 2017

AASWomen Newsletter for July 21, 2017

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 21, 2017
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Heather Flewelling, Cristina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Worse than it seems
2. Why your brain hates other people and how to make it think differently
3. Gender and Physics Day
4. Girls set AP Computer Science record…skyrocketing growth outpaces boys
5. Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins President's Medal of the Institute of Physics
6. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter
7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter
8. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

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1. Worse Than It Seems
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_ifa.hawaii.edu]

by Colleen Flaherty

Like many debates about higher education, those about sexual harassment are often based on anecdotes and opinion. To some, male professors in particular are victims in waiting of the PC police anxious to punish a stray comment. To others, faculty harassers are finally being held accountable for sexually predatory behavior toward vulnerable students. [A new study] seeks to cut through the noise with data, analyzing nearly 300 faculty-student harassment cases for commonalities. The study, which focused on complaints by graduate students, led to two major findings: most faculty harassers are accused of physical, not verbal, harassment, and more than half of cases -- 53 percent -- involve alleged serial harassers.

Read more at


Find the study at


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2. Why Your Brain Hates Other People  And how to make it think differently
From: Elysse Voyer [elysse.voyer_at_gmail.com]

by ROBERT SAPOLSKY

As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing chimps and those playing gorillas ate in separate groups.

It’s been said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide
the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.” In reality, there’s lots more of the former. And it can be vastly consequential when people are divided into Us and Them, ingroup and outgroup, “the people” (i.e., our kind) and the Others.

Read more at


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3. Gender and Physics Day
From: Judith Pipher [jlpipher_at_pas.rochester.edu]

By Francesca Primas, Geneviève Guinot, and Lotta Strandberg

In their role as observers on the EU Gender Equality Network in the European Research Area (GENERA) project, funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, CERN, ESO and NordForsk joined forces and organised a Gender in Physics Day at the CERN Globe of Science and Innovation. The one-day conference aimed to examine innovative activities promoting gender equality, and to discuss gender-oriented policies and best practice in the European Research Area (with special emphasis on intergovernmental organisations), as well as the importance of building solid networks. The event was very well attended and was declared a success. The main highlights of the meeting are reported.


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4. Girls set AP Computer Science record…skyrocketing growth outpaces boys
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

In 2017, over 29,000 female students took an Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) exam when ten years ago, just 2600 did. "Though computer science has seen sustained growth year after year, the introduction of AP CS Principles this past school year was the largest College Board AP exam launch in history, and has skyrocketed participation in CS especially among female students and minorities."

Read the summary and see the data at


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5. Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins President's Medal of the Institute of Physics
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded the President's Medal of the Institute of Physics "for her outstanding contributions to physics through pioneering research in astronomy, most notably the discovery of the first pulsars, and through her unparalleled record of leadership within the community".  The award was presented at the International Conference on Women in Physics.

Read more at


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6. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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7. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

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8. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.