Thursday, December 18, 2008

International Year of Astronomy 2009: "She is An Astronomer"

"She is An Astronomer" is a global project created as part of the UNESCO/IAU International Year of Astronomy 2009. Here is the project's mission:

Promoting gender equality and empowering women is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. She Is An Astronomer will promote gender equality in astronomy (and science in general), tackling bias issues by providing a web platform where information and links about gender balance and related resources are collected.

The aim of the project is to provide neutral, informative and accessible information to female professional and amateur astronomers, students, and those who are interested in the gender equality problem in science. We believe that providing this information will help increase the interest of young females to study and pursue a career in astronomy.

An objective of the project is to build and maintain an internet based, easy-to-handle forum and database, where people regardless of geographical location can read about the subject, ask questions and find answers. There will also be the option to discuss astronomy sector specific problems, such as observing times and family duties.

To that end, there is already an She is an Astronomer Facebook Group. I'm not sure if this is going to be the only forum or one of several, but it already has a bit of discussion about gender equality and astronomy going.

There aren't many details as yet, but apparently there will also be lectures and workshops all over the world in conjunction with the project. I only found a couple of related events by Googling:
Presumably there will be more listings as the year progresses. Here are some event listing pages for different countries participating in the International Year of Astronomy:
There is also a Women in Astronomy resource guide (pdf)

(tip of the hat to the Bad Astronomer for the link to the SIAA Facebook Group)
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