Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

Dreaming of success in an age of diminished possibility

It’s taken me me longer to get to this essay than I had intended. While I might offer valid excuses related to work and travel, that wouldn’t be the whole truth. The fundamental reason for this delay is I want to offer you hope, and I don’t know how. My first essay led to several people wishing out loud that part 2 would offer implementable solutions, and I just don’t have many (any?) to articulate. All I have is some really ugly truths and a personal hope that by laying bare our reality maybe wiser minds than mine can find an answer. In part 1, I detailed the three front employment battle that post-Apollo astronomers (and those in many other fields) are facing as the baby boomer generation continues to not retire, as the production rate...

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Temp

Temp

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Friday was one of those days that started out entirely normal and ended in a total paradigm shift. It was the day Geoff Marcy’s wrong doing woke us all up, and it was the day Chris Ford helped me see what “right doing” can look like. As I am so often, I was traveling. In this case, I’d flown to San Fransisco for a board meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This is a board I sit on with many astronomers and astronomy supporters who I deeply respect and who are in their different ways working to promote engagement in science by diverse audiences. Like also happens so very often, Friday was a day when my social media stream was exploding with news of a prominent scientist who had done a thing (or in this case, many things, see...

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Despite…

Despite…

Despite being a mistake. Despite being defective. Despite the moving. Despite the bullies. Despite the dyslexia. Despite being a latch-key kid. Despite being a girl. Despite the teachers who belittled. Despite health problems. Despite being a Tom Boy. Despite that attempted rape. Despite the abuse. Despite the guidance councilor who said no one cares what happens to a white, middle-class honors student girl. Despite going to public schools. Despite the lack of scholarships. Despite working in college. Despite that summer with no where to live. Despite health problems. Despite being a girl. Despite the TA who kept getting too close. Despite the professor who was always too close. Despite the biased tests. Despite having to choose between working for the serial...

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