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Celebrate the XX March 10, 2009

Posted by Sarah in science, women.
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Yesterday, 8 March, was International Women’s Day. I hope many of you enjoyed and celebrated it. A ton of events took place yesterday and throughout the month of March, check out the official website for information.

As it’s also International Year of Astronomy, IWD marked the launch date of one of the IYA’s cornerstone project, She is an Astronomer. The project aims to bring female astronomers into the spotlight, encourage more girls and women to get involved in astronomy, and to remove misconceptions about gender in this great science.

An extra special shout out to fellow women astronomy and space bloggers, Amanda, Nicole, Emily, Pamela, all the women blogging in Cosmic Diary and Cosmic Variance and all the women scientists out there on the internet. And check out an exciting new blog carnival on Diversity in Science.


Image credit: IYA2009/She is an astronomer


Faber wins 2009 Bower Prize February 20, 2009

Posted by Sarah in science.
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Sandra Faber, astronomy professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, was announced on Wednesday as the winner of the 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievements in Science. The prize is presented to her by the Franklin Institute, whose awards programme is one of the oldest and richest in the US. The science prize itself dates back to 1990, and after Sir Martin Rees Sandy Faber is the second astronomer to win the prize.


Wednesday Food for Thought January 14, 2009

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I’m currently reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. I have many thoughts about this book, some of them good and others not.

At one point she cites German philospher Friedrich Engels, who claimed that:

“When a woman displays scientific interest, then there is something out of order in her sexuality”.*

I’m going to sit here, at my desk, in a world-renowned astronomy department and be a little bit thankful.

*I’m not sure of the exact source of the quote. Wolf refrences it as cited in Ann Oakley, Housewife: High value/Low cost (London, Penguim Books, 1987), pp. 46-47

Women and Science December 10, 2008

Posted by Sarah in science.
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This article appeared in today’s Guardian, about the reasons why women leave science careers after their PhDs. I take this problem very much to heart and can often relate to the reasons why women quit science – and like most people, male or female, I’ve often considered it myself. But I get so …. tired … with the whole argument. Let’s look at this article more closely.

It’s now a month since Bhatti, 27, took her PhD viva and turned her back on lab work. She has instead moved into science policy and spends her days meeting with politicians and scientists, and drafting submissions for government consultations on anything from biofuels to genetically modified crops.


Well played, Australia October 7, 2008

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Astronomy Professor Penny Sackett, former head of the Astronomy department of the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, was appointed as Australia’s next Chief Scientist at the end of September. Although a theoretical physicist by education, Sackett is very well known in astronomy for her work in exoplanet detection and involvement in the US-led Giant Magellan Telescope project.

She was also in charge of rebuilding Mt Stromlo observatory, that was tragically destroyed in a bush fire in 2003.

An astronomer, and she’s a woman to boot. Score! Congratulations to her.