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Women Astronomers Say Discrimination In Field Persists

Author: BARBARA SPECTOR, p.20 The good news for women astronomers is that their numbers are increasing, according to a recent survey of members of the Washington, D.C.-based American Astronomical Society. But along with this good news comes some additional, disquieting information: Many of these women astronomers reported having been the victims of, or having observed, gender-based discrimination or sexual harassment at some point in their careers. Pamela H. Blondin, who prepared the report,

Barbara Spector

Author: BARBARA SPECTOR, p.20

The good news for women astronomers is that their numbers are increasing, according to a recent survey of members of the Washington, D.C.-based American Astronomical Society. But along with this good news comes some additional, disquieting information: Many of these women astronomers reported having been the victims of, or having observed, gender-based discrimination or sexual harassment at some point in their careers.

Pamela H. Blondin, who prepared the report, and Peter B. Boyce, AAS's executive officer, presented the survey results at the 177th national meeting of the 5,600-member society, held this past winter in Philadelphia. The study found that 11.2 percent of AAS members are women, up from 7.9 percent in 1972. Of the 2,208 AAS members who responded to the survey, 12.6 percent were women.

EXPERIENCING DISCRIMINATION

 Against women Against minorities % of women % of men % of minorities 

General social treatment 39.9 12.4...

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