21 July 2014 Gender equity issues in astronomy: facts, fiction, and what the adaptive optics community can do to close the gap
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Abstract
Gender equality in modern societies is a topic that never fails to raise passion and controversy, in spite of the large body of research material and studies currently available to inform the general public and scientists alike. This paper brings the gender equity and equality discussion on the Adaptive Optics community doorstep. Its aim is threefold: (1) Raising awareness about the gender gap in science and astronomy in general, and in Adaptive Optics in particular; (2) Providing a snapshot of real and/or perceived causes for the gender gap existing in science and engineering; and (3) Presenting a range of practical solutions which have been or are being implemented at various institutions in order to bridge this gap and increase female participation at all levels of the scientific enterprise. Actual data will be presented to support aim (1), including existing gender data in science, engineering and astronomy, as well as original data specific to the Adaptive Optics community to be gathered in time for presentation at this conference. (2) will explore the often complex causes converging to explain gender equity issues that are deeply rooted in our male-dominated culture, including: conscious and unconscious gender biases in perceptions and attitudes, worklife balance, n-body problem, fewer numbers of female leaders and role models, etc. Finally, (3) will offer examples of conscious and pro-active gender equity measures which are helping to bring the female to male ratio closer to its desirable 50/50 target in science and astronomy.
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Céline D'Orgeville, François Rigaut, Sarah Maddison, Elena Masciadri, "Gender equity issues in astronomy: facts, fiction, and what the adaptive optics community can do to close the gap", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 91481V (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2059088; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2059088
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