1. NASA’s Kepler Telescope detects a possible Earth-sized planet. The New York Times (and others) reported this week on a NASA press conference addressing the progress hinted at in Dimitar Sasselov’s TED Global talk last month: in essence, that Kepler had detected many Earth-like planets. Sasselov and the Kepler team have previously issued statements of clarification, but the issue is definitely hot, as the public wants to know, but the science papers have not yet been published by the team. Stay tuned for new planet announcements from the Kepler team, headed by PI Bill Borucki and Deputy PI Natalie Batalha — but they’re not ready yet.
2. In A Cosmologist Resists Academia’s Work-Life Norms, a story about Sarah Bridle on Science Careers, Bridle says, “I decided that if I wasn’t a lecturer by the age of 30 that I would quit academia, because I thought it would be too stressful being on a temporary contract when starting a family.” Oh, where to begin discussing this? Bridle talks openly about work-life balance issues as an astronomer in the U.K. in this article and at conferences; she also did a survey of 425 university astronomers that resulted in this report on Work Life Balance in Astronomy in 2009.
3. The August Scientae Carnival was hosted by fellow planetary scientist Alyssa, writing at Apple Pie and the Universe. Looking for a more informal way to meet other female science students, postdocs, and professionals? Check out the monthly Scientae carnivals — and submit a link to one of your own posts this month! (Deadline 8/31 7:00 a.m. EDT)
That’s what’s new in our field(s) this week! Send interesting articles (with or without commentary) to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them for everyone each Monday, on this new feature, the Monday Minute!