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Appendix N: Report of the Panel on the State of the Profession and Societal Impacts
Pages 488-538

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From page 488...
... Furthermore, astronomers have not always engaged adequately with local communities PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION N-1
From page 489...
... The panel suggests methods for funding agencies, professional societies, university departments, observatories, research institutes, government laboratories, and the Profession to embody these values and achieve these goals. The panel estimates1 that these methods range from no-cost to fairly substantial 1 The programmatic suggestions included in this report have been derived by the panel on a best-effort basis that includes examination of the costs of existing similar programs, consultation with agency staff, and other relevant PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION N-2
From page 498...
... accountability, which are further described below -- will enable the Profession to foster engagement, increase opportunities for equitable participation in the field, and lay the foundation for lasting scientific excellence in a more diverse nation.39,40,41,42 For example, the Profession's inherently hierarchical structure, based on assumed individual superiority of innate scientific capacity, perpetuates in part by casting the structure of opportunity as a "scientific meritocracy." Meritocracies are well-known to reproduce structural inequities by defining merit using metrics that favor historically privileged groups and disadvantage those with different or emerging forms of leadership and expertise.43 The Profession demonstrates commitment to scientific rigor in its pursuit of understanding the universe by conceptualizing and launching successful missions, as prioritized in this and previous decadal surveys. However, the Profession has not prioritized equitable access to the resources available from federal sponsoring agencies in pursuit of that understanding, as evidenced by the large gap between the demographic profile of the Profession and the U.S.
From page 499...
... 56 NASA Act, 2008, "The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere." 57 NSF Act, 2018, "The Congress finds that the fundamental research and related education program supported by the Federal Government and conducted by the Nation's universities and colleges are essential to our national security, and to our health, economic welfare, and general well-being." 58 DOE Act, 2014, "The Congress of the United States finds that this energy shortage and our increasing dependence on foreign energy supplies present a serious threat to the national security of the United States and to the health, safety and welfare of its citizens." 59 DOE Act, 2014, "The Director shall have the duty and responsibility to advise the Secretary on the effect of energy policies, regulations, and other actions of the Department and its components on minorities and minority business enterprises and on ways to insure that minorities are afforded an opportunity to participate fully in the energy programs of the Department." PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION N-12
From page 500...
... The panel notes that there is a strong evidentiary basis in research on change about the importance of sensemaking, that is, making new meaning around concepts through a variety of PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION N-13
From page 502...
... Increasing the number of perspectives, expertise, experiences, and cultural touchpoints makes the process of collaborative work more difficult,71 but the outcomes more just,72,73 innovative,74 and of higher quality.75,76,77,78 This productive friction will encourage scientific excellence while increasing equitable access. Multimodal expertise maps directly to the sponsoring agency value of innovation.
From page 510...
... Goal 2, Suggestion 4: The panel suggests that the federal agencies provide material support to researchers who build and lead programs designed to retain, recruit, and advance historically underrepresented people. Method, impact, and programmatics and cost to achieve this suggestion:  NSF, NASA, DOE -- Method: Increase budget size and funding flexibility for grants to advance equity advancing values (e.g., reduce barriers to diversity and equity; create inclusive workplaces)
From page 512...
... Goal 3, Suggestion 1: The panel suggests that members of the Profession purposefully develop, nominate, and select future leaders with multimodal expertise who exercise equity-advancing values. The panel suggests that federal agencies: (1)
From page 513...
... The panel suggests that outcomes from training programs be assessed with longitudinal tracking of participants and reporting of aggregated data. -- Impact: Agencies participate and guide the development of leadership programs that provide equitable access to organization-specific information.
From page 514...
... This establishes the work of promoting equity-advancing values as a core mission of the Profession and a responsibility of its leaders.144 Goal 3, Suggestion 2: The panel suggests that the Profession sustain and empower leaders with multi-modal expertise, including leaders from historically underrepresented groups, by recognizing their leadership in encouraging equity-advancing values in promotion evaluation and service assignments. This responsibility lies not only with those who select leaders, but also with their peers and those being led.
From page 518...
... Goal 4, Suggestion 2: Support individuals marginalized by harassment and discrimination.169 Method, impact, and programmatics and cost to achieve this suggestion:  Professional Societies and Private Foundations -- Method: The panel suggests that professional societies and private foundations convene working groups that can effectively assess how funding can be provided for mental health and well-being, legal counseling, and other support structures for survivors. -- Impact: Individuals impacted by discriminatory practices or harassment require a range of support options that can be facilitated by flexible funding that allows them to make arrangements that best suit their needs.
From page 523...
... recipients in 2015–2016 did not take postdoctoral positions, and many went into private sector jobs.206 The Profession must respond to this trend and support a broad set of career pathways with an updated curriculum to include skills that are in demand.207,208 Goal 5, Suggestion 3: The panel suggests that the agencies fund PUI, MSI, and WC faculty and students in collaborations and research opportunities to access and engage in cutting-edge technological and data advancements, and that the Profession invest in expanded technical training pathways for all career levels. Method, impact, and programmatics and cost to achieve this suggestion:  NSF-AST, NASA-APD/SMD, DOE-OoS -- Method: Create partnerships or training programs at MSI, PUI, and WC that facilitate long-lasting (5-year grants with administrative support)
From page 525...
... Goal 6, Suggestion 1: The panel suggests that the Profession reimagine community engagement and EBIO as partnerships. Partnerships are fundamental to the professional well-being of members and stakeholders, and provide the foundation from which the Profession could be transformed to be more inclusive, multicultural, and innovative.
From page 527...
... During times of international distress, like the COVID-19 pandemic, consulates and international borders may be closed, disrupting visa applications. Goal 6, Suggestion 2: The panel suggests that the Profession promote global, culturally supported pathways into the Profession and provide training in inclusive community practice to all participants.
From page 528...
... Goal 6, Suggestion 3: The panel suggests that funding agencies, professional societies, and private foundations reduce the Profession's carbon footprint and other impacts on the environment. The panel suggests that the Profession increase engagement in initiatives that educate the public in the language of science with attention to climate change.
From page 530...
... N.6.7.1 Mitigate the Negative Impact of Past Engagement Around the Summit of Maunakea as Part of a Larger Effort to Build a Functional Partnership with Local Indigenous Communities Lack of an authentic partnership with Kanaka Maoli (the Indigenous people of Hawai'i) impedes the efficacy of the astronomy workforce, significantly risks facilities' investments, negatively impacts Kanaka Maoli, and diminishes public support.
From page 531...
... 19 K Dayton, "Public Support for TMT Drops Sharply, According to New Honolulu Star-Advertiser Poll," Star Advertiser, 25 September 2019, https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/09/25/hawaii-news/public-support-for-tmt PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION N-44
From page 533...
... A true partnership as defined above would redirect effort to identify stakeholders and assess their needs, values, and activities, especially in relation to the Kanaka Maoli.238 Method, impact, and programmatics and cost to achieve this suggestion:  State of Hawai'i and TMT Institutions, Held Accountable by Funding Agencies -- Method: The panel strongly suggests that any new or continued construction on the summit of Maunakea be contingent upon having proactively established a pathway forward using a community-based approach that is based on consent and mutual agreement.239 To ensure said pathway, the panel suggests, in addition to following guidelines developed in Goal 1, Suggestion 2, and Goal 6, Suggestion 1, the three methods outlined below. The panel further suggests that funding agencies not invest in future projects on Maunakea unless this and the following three methods are realized.
From page 534...
... The panel suggests that a mandatory educational module be included in the time application, where this module would be developed in collaboration with Kanaka Maoli and focus on societal impacts and the equity-advancing values outlined in the section "A Values Statement for the Profession of Astronomy and Astrophysics," earlier. -- Impact: Self-education of PIs on the process and impact of observatory construction on Indigenous lands.
From page 535...
... This requires a change in the Profession's culture so that Indigenous contributions are appropriately credited and Indigenous people and their cultures and values are granted respect. The panel suggests that funding agencies increase the scope of engagement and funding for existing partnerships with Indigenous communities and new partnership initiatives.
From page 536...
... -- Programmatics: Cost: $1 million/year per agency, implemented in 1–2 years.254  NSF, NASA, and DOE, Private Foundations -- Method: The panel suggests that private foundations create long-term, $50,000/year fellowships, from undergraduate to Ph.D., for students belonging to Indigenous communities. The panel further suggests that federal agencies create bridge fellowships for students from TCU and Tribal Community Centers.
From page 537...
...  Mid-decade: The panel suggests that dedicated agencies independently and in collaboration organize advisory board groups that can work with a National Academies-appointed mid decadal panel to assess the progress and compare with initial benchmarks; preferably as a publicly available report to the advisory board groups. Findings would be used to update existing plans and inform directions for years 6–10.


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