"The Committee on Affirmative Action and the Status of Women of the Society for [insert organization name here] (a) declares that its primary objective is to render itself obsolete and (b) requests that it be made a permanent, standing committee of the Society, rather than a temporary, ad hoc committee." While such a statement could be issued within any organization, it actually happened twice in the last year within societies to which I belong-one interdisciplinary and one subject-oriented. What in the world is going on when something that was supposed to be temporary wants to become permanent? What, if anything, should we do about it? And who am I to be telling you?

To take the last question first, I am an old-or anyhow aging-tenured, female academic, married to a (the same) fellow scientist for 20-some years, and the holder of a 1968 Ph.D. in astronomy from a reasonably prestigious...

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