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Caitlin Casey @astrocaits
, 23 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
Thank you all for your love, support and comments about my plenary talk on the Obscured Early Universe yesterday at #AAS233. It's impossible to divorce identity and experiences from science, and I wanted to convey that ever-present feeling while sharing my science with you.
I included personal anecdotes of my experiences at the bottom of my slides to demonstrate how distracting it can be to live with harassment and bullying while striving to make real scientific impact. I'll copy each of those statements here for those who missed it. #AAS233
At the same time, these experiences are not representative of the struggles of more marginalized groups -- I carry a lot of privilege as a white woman in a position of power. A lot of y'all deal with much worse and I have great admiration for your courage. #AAS233
1. "A summer research advisor liked to play emotional games and insulted me to the point of tears. He once told me 'you’re too sloppy to be a scientist.' Turns out he was romantically pursuing another student in the program. He has harassed multiple students since." #AAS233
2. "When I started grad school, I was interested in studying theory. I was told that I wasn’t well suited because theory was hard and I wasn’t the type of person who could handle it." #AAS233
3. "A professor regularly catcalled me in the hallway, called me 'sexy thing' and bear hugged me without permission multiple times." #AAS233
4. "A collaborator plagiarized one of my proposals by taking a screenshot of a figure, then demanded I withdraw my proposal as he had submitted 'a very similar' case." #AAS233
5. "A senior professor pursued me aggressively for a relationship for many months. When I turned him down, and he became chair of a committee that evaluated my work, I was negatively impacted and he would openly deride me to others." #AAS233
6. "I notified the head of my astronomy center about the ongoing sexual harassment. He said that it made sense because women don’t wear enough clothing." #AAS233
7. "I’ve been threatened in email by powerful men for trying to publish my own telescope data: 'Submitting [this paper would be] scientifically unethical… If the paper comes out, I will provide [this] information to wherever you apply for a future position.'" #AAS233
8. "An editor of a prominent journal criticized me for not having declared a conflict of interest prior to getting a review from someone who was clearly conflicted. The paper was rejected without resolving the conflict." #AAS233
9. "During a job interview a professor closed the door and asked me intimate details about my personal life: 'Are you married? Do you have children? You don’t have a 2 body problem we should worry about, do you?' Actually that happened a few times." #AAS233
10. "Despite having written a well-cited review paper on the topic, a contemporary of mine has publicly questioned my understanding of fundamental concepts in my sub-field." #AAS233
11. "One of my colleagues lets me know when I don’t smile enough during meetings." #AAS233
12. "About ten young women have asked me for help in their own sexual harassment cases in the past 4 years, ranging from the manipulative to very severe (unwelcome physical affection). None have been resolved appropriately." #AAS233
13. "A Black colleague of mine pointed out how uncomfortable he is at conferences, where everyone else in the room is white. And he’s the only one there who seems to see it." #AAS233
14. "Some of my colleagues redirect all equity/inclusion inquiries to me rather than helping to relieve the burden." #AAS233
15. "I’ve made mistakes trying to advocate for others. I’ve been called out for it, and it didn’t feel good. But I apologized and need to keep listening because I know what it feels like not to be heard." #AAS233
16. "Everybody experiences professional hardships and unfair treatment, but those from marginalized groups bear a disproportionate burden. Listen to those around you, and believe the experiences of others no matter how different they seem from yours." #AAS233
I'd also really encourage you to check out the science! It's been decades of work and thinking about how to find and take an accurate census of obscured star forming galaxies at z>4. We developed a model to break degeneracies and crack this epoch. Three papers to note: #AAS233
"The Brightest Galaxies in the Dark Ages: Galaxies’ Dust Continuum Emission during the Reionization Era" (Casey et al. 2018a)… #AAS233
"An Analysis of ALMA Deep Fields and the Perceived Dearth of High-z Galaxies" (Casey et al. 2018b)… #AAS233
"Constraining the Volume Density of Dusty Star-forming Galaxies through the First 3 mm Number Counts from ALMA" (Zavala et al. 2018c)… #AAS233
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