Why do we need Astronomy Allies?


One of the reasons for the creation of astronomy allies is related to this figure, which comes from “Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault”, they conducted a survey of field scientists to find out more about the climate of their setting (gendered experiences, sexual harassment, sexual assault). This plot is particularly upsetting, as it shows how common harassment is, and worse, how few report the harassment or even know that they can. There is harassment in astronomy. We do not have a good idea of the numbers of people who experience harassment, but we aim to do 2 things about it. The first thing that we do is we will try to inform attendees that allies exist and can provide confidential mentoring and help, and second, we will report the number of incidents (and types) to AAS (with no personal information), so that they will have a better idea how prevalent a problem harassment is, and come up with strategies to decrease the incidents of harassment.

Reference: Clancy KBH, Nelson RG, Rutherford JN, Hinde K (2014) Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102172. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102172

Allies in the News

Social behaviour: Indecent advances
Nature, Mar 11, 2015 by: Virginia Gewin

Science women celebrate 'toys' after radio show comment
tucson.com, May 20, 2015 by: Tom Beal

How to End Sexual Harassment in Astronomy
Scientific American, Oct 14, 2015 by: Meg Urry

How to make science safer for women
CNN, Nov 4, 2015 by: Emanuella Grinberg

Scientific groups revisit sexual-harassment policies
Nature, Nov 16, 2015 by: Helen Shen

Astronomy Allies Team Up to Confront Sexual Harassment
APS News, Dec 1, 2015 by: Sophia Chen