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Women in Astronomy

Addressing Gender Bias in the SDSS Collaboration

14 Sep 2015, 11:00 UTC
Addressing Gender Bias in the SDSS Collaboration
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Today‚Äôs guest bloggers are Sara Lucatello and Gail Zasowski. Sara is a staff astronomer at INAF - Padova Astronomical Observatory, in Italy. Her research focuses on understanding, through the study of stellar populations, the formation and chemical evolution of the Milky Way. Gail is an NSF Astronomy Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the US, where she studies the Milky Way's ISM and stellar populations; she also runs a space camp for middle school students and works to support public outreach and astronomy diversity programming. Both are active members of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and its Committee for the Participation of Women in SDSS.  In July 2012, at the yearly meeting of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Collaboration, a slide was shown that outlined the current leadership structure for the fourth generation of the SDSS, which was due to get underway in 2014. Of the 26 positions shown on the slide, only one was filled by a woman.  Many collaboration members in the audience were visibly taken aback, looking around to see who else was surprised. Soon the Sloan Foundation (the largest single source of funding for the SDSS) echoed the surprise and unease, and explicitly mentioned the ...

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