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ToSeek
2003-Jun-30, 04:02 PM
60% of young astronomers are women (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0306/27woman/)

Maybe it's time I changed professions... ;)

Sunfish
2003-Jun-30, 04:17 PM
That is good news.

At my local society I am the only young woman. It seems to have caused some consternation amongst the more elderly members who seem to think my husband drags me along - bless 'em :) .

Humphrey
2003-Jun-30, 04:57 PM
Yay! this is good....too bad i am not in astronomy....But i bet my girlfriend would be mad if i went into it for the girls. :-)

pmcolt
2003-Jun-30, 05:04 PM
I'm in the wrong field. Seems like 98% of every non-humanities class I'm in is male.

Excellent news, though. Gender gap? What gender gap?

somerandomguy
2003-Jun-30, 06:13 PM
In the next older cohort of astronomers, his study shows that of members born between January 1, 1975 and January 1, 1980, just 39.7 percent are women.

Darn, so my generation ran off all the star-ladies? :cry:

tracer
2003-Jun-30, 06:18 PM
Nah ... I'll bet that among astronomers born before 1975, an even lower percentage are women. Women have traditionally been discouraged from going into "geeky" science fields.

Humphrey
2003-Jun-30, 06:38 PM
Nah ... I'll bet that among astronomers born before 1975, an even lower percentage are women. Women have traditionally been discouraged from going into "geeky" science fields.

Correction...Women have traditionally been discouraged from going out with Geeks. :-)

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Jun-30, 06:59 PM
60% of young astronomers are women (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0306/27woman/)

That's good news for the 40% of young astronomers that are men.

For the 100% of us decrepit old farts that are old enough to be their fathers, it does us no good at all...

Colt
2003-Jul-01, 02:59 AM
<< Young guy, yeah, you'd think I was lucky. But that is before I start talking about propelling things with only small nuclear bombs. Then they start to scatter. :wink: -Colt

ToSeek
2003-Jul-01, 03:33 AM
60% of young astronomers are women (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0306/27woman/)

That's good news for the 40% of young astronomers that are men.

For the 100% of us decrepit old farts that are old enough to be their fathers, it does us no good at all...

Perhaps some of them are in need of a wise and experienced mentor.... ;)

kilopi
2003-Jul-01, 04:39 AM
I wonder what caused the sudden increase though. I wouldn't have expected it to jump that much in a short time.
Daryl Hannah as Roxanne Kowalski in Roxanne (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0093886) (1987), Jodi Foster as Dr. Eleanor Ann 'Ellie' Arroway in Contact (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0118884) (1997), Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan in A Walk To Remember (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0281358) (2002). Weren't there some in the seventies too?

Colt
2003-Jul-01, 05:01 AM
All of the females in my Astronomy class at school seemed to be in there just for the science credit. :-? So far I've not met a girl which is interested in Astronomy and Space Technology as much as I am.. Of course I am a bit fanatical about it. :P -Colt

Humphrey
2003-Jul-01, 06:39 AM
Tisk, tisk, tisk. The field to go into to pick up (smart) girls is education. MY girlfriend is in elementry ed. and she has only one (1) guy in all of her classes combined! :o

I have got to say Astronomy girls are all starry eyed, but teachers are just top of the line. :-)

glen chapman
2003-Jul-01, 12:08 PM
I what I find truely amazing is the enormous over-representation women have had in the field.

Given science was discouraged as a vocation for women - no matter where you turn through the history of astronomy, you bump into a woman's name.

I recall reading during the early days of variable star study - one observatory had an all female staff, the only male was the director Pickering (?). And if memory serves me further - these ladies helped produce the Henry Draper catalogue and devised our current scheme of identifying stella spectra.

Not bad for a male dominated field?

Glen - leave me alone, I got four daughters.

BlueAnodizeAl
2003-Jul-01, 01:22 PM
Tisk, tisk, tisk. The field to go into to pick up (smart) girls is education. MY girlfriend is in elementry ed. and she has only one (1) guy in all of her classes combined! :o

I have got to say Astronomy girls are all starry eyed, but teachers are just top of the line. :-)

I would certainly have to agree! My girlfriend is a teacher as well. I have to resort looking for dates in the Education building, as in Engineering the six women in my classes for the past 4 years know me too well to date me. :wink:

gethen
2003-Jul-01, 01:28 PM
At last, the universe is achieving equilibrium :) I have to mention that my daughter is in engineering and my younger son is in education. Each reports an abundant number of the opposite sex. Smart kids.

ToSeek
2003-Jul-01, 02:32 PM
I recall reading during the early days of variable star study - one observatory had an all female staff, the only male was the director Pickering (?). And if memory serves me further - these ladies helped produce the Henry Draper catalogue and devised our current scheme of identifying stella spectra.

Not bad for a male dominated field?



Pickering hired a bunch of women to do the work because it was tedious stuff that the men didn't want to do, and also because he didn't have to pay them nearly as much. Two of the women were Annie Jump Cannon, who devised the stellar classification system (though probably not the usual mnemonic: "Oh, Be A Fine Girl...") and Henrietta Leavitt, who discovered the Cepheid variables.

More info (but brief) (http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_women_030626.html)

Even more info (and photos) (http://physics.carleton.edu/Astro/pages/marga_michele/harvard.html)

tracer
2003-Jul-01, 02:34 PM
All of the females in my Astronomy class at school seemed to be in there just for the science credit. :-?
Maybe you could offer to help them with their homework. (Wink wink, nudge nudge)

kucharek
2003-Jul-01, 02:45 PM
Pickering hired a bunch of women to do the work because it was tedious stuff that the men didn't want to do, and also because he didn't have to pay them nearly as much.
Reminds me of the stories I heard about the computing department in Los Alamos before they had electronic calculators...

Colt
2003-Jul-02, 05:06 AM
Alas, it is Summer Vacation for me and I don't think I can take Astronomy over. :cry: And like I said, most of them found me a bit odd. Most of the time I just drew in that class. :P -Colt

sarongsong
2003-Jul-02, 06:34 AM
Hey, let's ask the Bad if it's true---he gets around, right?
...and do astrobiologists count?

jokergirl
2003-Jul-02, 06:50 AM
Oh well, and here I was thinking since I already study one male-dominated domain, I could also go into astronomy... seems the competition will be harder there :P

;)

ToSeek
2003-Jul-02, 04:32 PM
But if you want to meet girls, you have to go pro: Only 9% of amateur astronomers are female (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_993_1.asp) (but that's still a 50% increase over the last 20 years or so).

ysandre
2003-Jul-02, 08:04 PM
Sadly, there is still a leaky pipeline at work in the field. Larger numbers of female grad students have not led to larger numbers of women professors/scientists. They seem to fall out somewhere and leave the field. This disturbing trend is well-documented.

I was in the only female in my class in grad school. And I dropped out (for various reasons, though, none of which relate to being a girl, :wink:). I still work in the field, though, with my masters that screams "failed PhD." 8)

Mr. X
2003-Jul-02, 08:28 PM
No females in my field... or maybe there are, but it's difficult to tell. :lol:

ysandre is female. Never knew, probably because the name reminded me of The Andre (http://www.andrethegiant.com/). :lol:

ysandre
2003-Jul-02, 08:35 PM
It's derivative of Isolde (as in, Tristan and...). From Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy.
:D

Mr. X
2003-Jul-02, 08:51 PM
Thought you were a 7 feet tall 300 pounds wrestler... sorry :lol:

tracer
2003-Jul-02, 10:29 PM
Larger numbers of female grad students have not led to larger numbers of women professors/scientists. They seem to fall out somewhere and leave the field.
[ ... ]
And I dropped out (for various reasons, though, none of which relate to being a girl, :wink:).
Ah, but how do you know none of the reasons you dropped out were due to your feminine-ness? (Your womanitude? Your girlic quotient?) Maybe the seemingly-gender-neutral reasons you dropped out were actually, secretly, reasons experienced more often by women than by men!

OscartheGrouch
2003-Jul-02, 11:00 PM
Failed PhD? How about overachieving undergrad? I suggest, ysandre, if at all possible, give it another try. A long time ago, in a galaxy 3.130e-13 parsecs away, I didn't do so good in math and science. They say that those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who can't even teach, become lawyers. But y'know, I missed astro-stuff, so I started back last year with freshman material at the same university. I'm doing much better now, except for the very latest class I had--NEVER take differential equations from a professor with a dual appointment in the economics department!--and if I keep on plugging part-time for another 12 years, maybe I will get to be an astrophysicist when I grow up. Even if not, it's great fun just trying. I am fortunate to have a solo practice with some flexibility in hours, and maybe I sort of arranged things that way on purpose instead of being a relatively well-paid, but powerless, associate in a firm.

ysandre
2003-Jul-03, 08:47 PM
Maybe the seemingly-gender-neutral reasons you dropped out were actually, secretly, reasons experienced more often by women than by men!
Not enough discipline, drive, ambition, whatever you want to call it...(or maybe just not smart enough, my grades sucked). Also bombed my qualifier cause I was in a major car accident and my dad had a stroke on the same day; not in the mood to study that summer. (And just gave away my identity to anyone who knows me... :D ) Is this girly stuff? No marriage/two body problem or harassment reasons.

I try not to wallow in self-pity TOO much about this stuff... :wink:


ailed PhD? How about overachieving undergrad? I suggest, ysandre, if at all possible, give it another try.
Sweet. I think I might go into computer science now, though (Oh, the horror! :lol: )

tracer
2003-Jul-04, 12:55 AM
Well, talking Barbie said that "Math is hard!".

:: ducking and running ::

ysandre
2003-Jul-04, 01:34 AM
:evil:

Just kidding! :lol: Math wasn't the problem.

pulsar4529
2003-Jul-04, 10:55 PM
NEVER take differential equations from a professor with a dual appointment in the economics department

Actually, never take a calculus class from a professor that cannot draw a straight line. Most of time, you are not sure if it was a staright line or an actual curve(when you stayed awake).

And being a female in engineering doesn't get the guys. They look over towards the liberal arts fields to the girls. So if anyone here thinks being a girl in a male-oriented field increases their chances....it doesn't.

sarongsong
2003-Jul-05, 12:39 AM
pulsar4529:

...(when you stayed awake)...
How true, how true...and there was "something" about the lecture hall at UCSB where calculus was taught that encouraged dozing. Might as well have been looking at the ISS, for all that sunk in.

...And being a female in engineering doesn't get the guys. They look over towards the liberal arts fields to the girls...
Ah, but where do you suppose the guys in liberal arts look for girls?

Humphrey
2003-Jul-05, 04:55 AM
Ah, but where do you suppose the guys in liberal arts look for girls?

Education, Journalism, or communications. I think litterally half of the Sorority girls on camput are either in Communication or Journalism. Not kidding.

The homecoming beauty pagent we have is one of the funniest things out there. Every girl in the top 5 is in the same major and the same two sororities.

pmcolt
2003-Jul-06, 07:24 AM
Actually, never take a calculus class from a professor that cannot draw a straight line.

Additionally, never take a math class from a professor that cannot speak English well. That happened to me in Calc I. And again the next semester in Calc II. And a third time in Calc III. And yet again in the differential equations/fourier/laplace/z/complex math class that my school makes electrical engineers take.


And being a female in engineering doesn't get the guys. They look over towards the liberal arts fields to the girls.

As a guy attending an engineering school with a smallish female population, I completely agree. The only times I see more than about three girls at a time are 1) when I'm in a humanities class, or 2) when I'm walking through the humanities section of campus. Why try to find a needle in a haystack when you can look for a needle in a...um... box of needles?

pulsar4529
2003-Jul-06, 11:21 PM
Additionally, never take a math class from a professor that cannot speak English well.

Most of my classes are like that. I wasn't used to it my first semester, so that is why I got a D in Calc I. Then the second semester I had the crooked line/sleepytime professor, so I am taking calc I at home during the summer. (plus it didn't help that I never had any kind of calc in High School).

I lived on an all females in engineering floor last year...BAD idea! Its competitive and when a lot of the people get accepted into sorities...lets just say if you are not into that, its awful.


The homecoming beauty pagent we have is one of the funniest things out there. Every girl in the top 5 is in the same major and the same two sororities.

Yeah, they were announcing the winners at a football game that we were at....we went to get hot dogs.(we made fun of them in line, btw, we were all girls...hehe)

Luckily though I found people that enjoyed space/astronomy as much I do. In fact I helped to build a radio telescope with some guys, and now I'm an officer in the AIAA...fun fun! Still though, most of my friends are guys...I'm even moving in with three of them!

ljbrs
2003-Jul-07, 12:08 AM
I hope that these female astronomers stick to it. However, the difficulty comes when their husbands are transferred and the wives are expected to follow them to their new location. It is difficult to keep a career intact that way. Then again, if they are good enough at their jobs, they should be able to manage a career and whatever is necessary to complete their lives happily.

My physicist father (long line of physicists in my family) discouraged me from entering physics because of the treatment I would meet. I believe (and fervently hope) that this predicament is slowly changing and perhaps careers for females in the sciences can succeed.

Oh, well, I will keep my fingers crossed, just in case they are needed...

ljbrs

Humphrey
2003-Jul-07, 12:15 AM
I hope that these female astronomers stick to it. However, the difficulty comes when their husbands are transferred and the wives are expected to follow them to their new location. It is difficult to keep a career intact that way. Then again, if they are good enough at their jobs, they should be able to manage a career and whatever is necessary to complete their lives happily.

My physicist father (long line of physicists in my family) discouraged me from entering physics because of the treatment I would meet. I believe (and fervently hope) that this predicament is slowly changing and perhaps careers for females in the sciences can succeed.

Oh, well, I will keep my fingers crossed, just in case they are needed...

ljbrs

Well hopefully they are, if only in some places. I am proud to say that all of my friends who are girls and my sister have never complained in the least bit about being harrased because they are girls in higher education. :-)

OscartheGrouch
2003-Jul-07, 01:58 AM
And being a female in engineering doesn't get the guys. They look over towards the liberal arts fields to the girls. So if anyone here thinks being a girl in a male-oriented field increases their chances....it doesn't.

Here's the reason why, at least from my perspective: With so many other male competitors, I figure they are probably already taken, so why bother getting shot down? (Also I am now about twice the age of the rest of the class, and some young women don't go for that. Those who DO, require you to be wealthy.) Like in Calc III this past spring, I ended up next to a very nice lady who was a mid-career grad student. She was attractive, friendly, talkative, and even listened to my ridiculous stories. Finally one evening after class I managed to accompany her toward her parking space and when the moment was just right, indicated that I thought she was a fine lady, and perhaps I should take her to dinner in the near future. She said thanks very much, "but I don't think my boyfriend would like that!" Arrrrrgh. Some days, you can't hit the ground with your hat. Well, we were still friends.

There seem to be a good number of women in math here at NCSU. I had an excellent TA for Calc I last year who helped restore my badly damaged self-confidence in math. Physics is another matter. We seem to be short of women in this field. Maybe Barbie should have said "Physics is grody!"

:: ducking and running at v = 0.994c ::

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Jul-07, 03:22 AM
Sadly, there is still a leaky pipeline at work in the field. Larger numbers of female grad students have not led to larger numbers of women professors/scientists. They seem to fall out somewhere and leave the field. This disturbing trend is well-documented.

Yes, and it's not due to marriage (which should be equal across sex). Having babies would skew the stats, but there aren't enough women in astronomy having babies to account for the dropout. A lot of people I know assume it is in large part due to hostility toward women by the men in the field. This may very well be true; we all have stories about such men. I've known a few.



I was in the only female in my class in grad school... I still work in the field, though, with my masters that screams "failed PhD."

From what I see, there are lots of women entering astronomy grad school. Being the only one in your class wasn't hugely unusual, but it may be in a few years!

Also, getting a terminal Masters isn't such a bad idea. In some cases, I recommend it (http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/career.html)! It sounds like you really have the astronomy bug though. Why not try to pursue it? You seem to be located in a place that supports the odd astronomer or two. :-)

pmcolt
2003-Jul-07, 03:38 AM
There seem to be a good number of women in math here at NCSU. I had an excellent TA for Calc I last year who helped restore my badly damaged self-confidence in math.

Wow, there's another Wolfpacker in here? Small world. It doesn't matter how many women there are in math; they still can't do anything to restore my self-confidence in math.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled thread, already in progress...

spaceditto
2003-Jul-07, 06:02 AM
I agree that there are alot of women in Astronomy because in my classes all the science brainers are females, not males. ( no offense) Thought i did scare of some of my dates with all that Astronomy talk LOL

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-07, 06:03 AM
Would you want a date that is scared by science? I wouldn't.

Humphrey
2003-Jul-07, 06:13 AM
Would you want a date that is scared by science? I wouldn't.

Depends. If she/he excells at other things and tolerates you talking about science than yes. But if she/he is a complete ditz and only wants to talk about how they can squeek by school on their parents money to get that job at their parents company, then no.


---------------
Truthfully,

I have never met soeone scared by science. I have met many who hate it with a passion ("Its so hard! I actually have to think about the questions rather than read Cliff notes!" <--- I have heard something similar to this [not exactly, but close] in the hall before a astronomy class. ) but no one who fear it.

spaceditto
2003-Jul-07, 06:28 AM
Actually that person was more into political science and that was the only reason i went out with them LOL :D (joking) I jsut was curious and they turned out to be not that knowledgeable about anyhow! :roll:

Thanks for the opinion thought! :)

Hypatia
2003-Jul-07, 06:21 PM
[quote=ysandre]Sadly, there is still a leaky pipeline at work in the field. Larger numbers of female grad students have not led to larger numbers of women professors/scientists. They seem to fall out somewhere and leave the field. This disturbing trend is well-documented.

Yes, and it's not due to marriage (which should be equal across sex). Having babies would skew the stats, but there aren't enough women in astronomy having babies to account for the dropout. A lot of people I know assume it is in large part due to hostility toward women by the men in the field. This may very well be true; we all have stories about such men. I've known a few.
************************************************** ***********
I am a "Women Astronomers" buff - I collect bios and do talks on the subject. There was a lot of discrimination against women in the first half of the 20th Century; but I think this is fading away. Maybe the generation that is entering the field now won't be discouraged from continuing on to careers as professionals.
But professional discrimination in hiring & promotion is only part of it - women need support from their peers & family. I am only an amateur astronomer but I don't think I could buck my husband's displeasure if he wasn't interested in it, too. You cannot stay up til 3 a.m. observing then get up at 7 a.m. to make breakfast. Many of the men in our astronomy Club are envious that I support time & dollars spent on astronomy (I put the $3,000 Coronado Solar Scope on my X-mas list); but I bet they like having the little wifey tend to the house & family while they sleep in the next morning!

Two good stories on the subject of women astronomers & discrimination:
Margaret Burbidge, who is one of the great research astronomers (not just women astronomers) of the 20th Century, was refused access to the Mt Wilson scope in the 50's because - horrors - it wouln't be safe to let a lone female work at night in an empty building! Her husband, who was a theoretical astronomer, was given scope time he didn't need for his work & would sign up for his wife.

Vera Rubin, who discovered Dark Matter in galaxies, finally got a stint at Mt Wilson, which was run like an English Gentlemans' Club of the 19th Century (they called their living quarters "the Monastary"). All the washrooms were labelled "Men", so she taped a "Wo" in front of one sign. It stayed during her tenure at the Observatory.

As to an earlier comment - yes, Williamina Fleming did create the star classification system we know as "OBAFGKM". Her classifications went from "A to Q" - it was re-arranged by Annie Cannon to included other kinds of spectra.
These early women were hired after the introduction of photography and spectroscopy into astronomy, because data accululated faster than it could be catalogued. Many other observatories used "women computers" to do this work - Harvard, Greenwich, the Vatican (used nuns), and Denmark, that I know of. Annie Maunder (of the "Maunder Minimum" and co-creator of the famous "butterfly diagram" of sunspots) started as a computer at Greenwich.
A few other great women of astronomy:
Henrietta Leavitt discoverd the period-luminosity relationship in Cepheid variables that enabled Hubble to prove that the Andromeda Galaxy is an extra-galactic object (& that the Universe is really, really big!)
Margaret Geller was the first person to map a 3-D structure of the Universe and find the mysterious "voids" with no galaxies in them.
Jocelyn Bell-Burnell discoverd pulsars.
Jill Tartar coined the term "brown dwarf" and has been working at SETI for over a decade

tracer
2003-Jul-08, 02:19 AM
Jill Tartar coined the term "brown dwarf"
Aha! So she's responsible for all the dark matter in the galaxy!

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-08, 07:02 AM
Yeah, blame the messenger! :roll:

tracer
2003-Jul-08, 05:46 PM
Don't knock it, it worked for Heracles.