Tuesday, December 8, 2015

AAS Beth Brown Award winner presentations and CSMA Meet and Greet

Several current and former Beth Brown Memorial Award winners will be presenting their research at the AAS in Kissimmee, FL in Jan.  The Beth Brown Memorial Award is sponsored by the AAS and presented by the ASTRO committee of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) to two student posters and one student speaker at the NSBP meeting. The prize is named for Dr. Beth Brown an astronomer and active member of both societies, who died suddenly in 2008 at the age of 39.

2015 Oral presentation winner:
Christopher S. Moore (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder)
Abstract ID: 125.01
Title: The Effects of Magnetic Field Morphology on the Determination of Oxygen and Iron Abundances in the Solar Photosphere
Session Title: The Sun and Solar System
Session Date: January 5, 2016

2015 Undergrad poster winner:
Carl E. Fields, Jr. (Arizona State Univ.)
Poster Number: 144.01
Title: On The Origin of The Elements: The Spectacular Role of White Dwarfs
Session Title: Variable Stars & White Dwarfs Poster Session
Session Date: January 5, 2016

Former winners:
Keith Hawkins (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge UK)
Abstract ID: 425.02D
Title: At the interface of the Galactic disk and halo: A lesson from APOGEE and other large spectroscopic surveys 
Session Title: The Milky Way, Stellar Populations
Session Date: January 8, 2016
Gregory Mosby (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Abstract ID: 318.06D 
Title: Using diffusion k-means for simple stellar population modeling of low S/N quasar host galaxy spectra 
Session Title: AGN, QSO, Blazars: Physics and Models 
Session Date: January 7, 2016 

CSMA Meet and Greet Scheduled for 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM; St. George 104 (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Visualizing privilege

But also, there's this, based on this study. Here's the abstract:
Racial inequity continues to plague America, yet many Whites still doubt the existence of racial advantages, limiting progress and cooperation. What happens when people are faced with evidence that their group benefits from privilege? We suggest such evidence will be threatening and that people will claim hardships to manage this threat. These claims of hardship allow individuals to deny that they personally benefit from privilege, while still accepting that group-level inequity exists. Experiments 1a and 1b show that Whites exposed to evidence of racial privilege claim to have suffered more personal life hardships than those not exposed to evidence of privilege. Experiment 2 shows that self-affirmation reverses the effect of exposure to evidence of privilege on hardship claims, implicating the motivated nature of hardship claims. Further, affirmed participants acknowledge more personal privilege, which is associated with increased support for inequity-reducing policies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What are Microaggressions?

Reposed with permission from the Women in Astronomy Blog

This past June I attended the Inclusive Astronomy conference in Nashville and there was an incredible talk by Kenjus Watson about microaggressions. This term gets brought up frequently in feminist and equity conversations, but a lot of people I've talked to don't really understand what it means, or how microaggressions manifest in everyday life. In fact, I was guilty of one of the microaggressions that Mr. Watson highlighted, when I recently asked a trans* woman what the trans* community thought about Caitlin Jenner's transition.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

We Stand With Ahmed

We strongly condemn the racist actions of MacArthur High School and the Irving, Texas Police Department on Monday September 14, in arresting Ahmed Mohamed for suspicion of making a “hoax bomb”.  Rather than being praised for his initiative, inventiveness, and technical skill in making an electronic clock from scratch, Ahmed was subject to unsubstantiated suspicion, overt racism, and the indignity of public arrest. Such actions serve to perpetuate and enforce the barriers faced by students of color who yearn to be scientists and engineers, and stands in opposition to our nation’s principles of equity and innovation. We are honored to support Ahmed and his fellow future scientists of color, and encourage our community to demand MacArthur High School administrators and Irving officials make a commitment to rooting out the systemic racism and discrimination in their organizations.

As per AAS policy, this is not a CSWA committee-endorsed statement and does not necessarily reflect the views of the AAS, its Council or its officers. 

Social Justice Vocabulary Words

The purpose of this blog is to educate the scientific community about race, racism and the issues faced by people of color in STEM generally, and astronomy more specifically. We recognize that our culture and society do not equip people with the vocabulary and historical knowledge to engage in conversations about race and racism in a cogent or constructive manner (e.g. Bonilla-Silva 2010). Because of this it is important to lay out some commonly-used vocabulary words that will appear in future posts. Because we subscribe to an intersectional approach to our antiracism work, we provide vocabulary pertaining to social justice issues beyond race. 

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a springboard for future discussions and posts. If you encounter words and terms that are unfamiliar, we encourage you to do a quick Google search.