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Women in Astronomy

It's Not Just Marcy, and the Grapevine Won't Save Us

24 Nov 2015, 17:12 UTC
It's Not Just Marcy, and the Grapevine Won't Save Us
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The below post was written by a contributor who wishes to use the pseudonym ExUngueLeam. The author is a junior astronomer whose friends and colleagues may be able to identify her from her writing, but who is nevertheless afraid to post this under her real name. Image credit is Jim. C. HinesNovember was the month I discovered that the fractional abundance of "known" sexual harassers in the astronomy community is greater than that of oxygen in the universe.Since the Geoff Marcy case broke I've had a number of overlapping conversations with friends and colleagues trying to discover if there are any "well-known serial harassers" at large in their area of specialization. I've had these conversations with astronomers at all levels of career advancement, from undergraduate students to tenured professors. While many of my senior colleagues were vaguely aware of the conversation about sexual harassment happening in the astronomy community, they never guessed that Marcy was on the list of alleged perpetrators. They were appalled and shocked when they found out."I knew about so-and-so, but not about Marcy," one friend confided. "How many more people exist like this in our community? How deep does this rot go?"Another friend told me: "I keep hearing ...

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