In 2009 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) held its general assembly in Rio de Janeiro. Of the 2,109 participants, 667 (or 31.6 percent) were women. Indeed, in recent years, the fraction of women among astronomers has been growing continuously. But who is considered to have been the first female astronomer?
This year's funding application season is almost upon us, which means that my fellow students and I are getting ready for another round of talking ourselves up and finding ways to make our research sound important to people who don't know anything about it. And in a surprising* twist of fate, all my female colleagues and I have to work harder to get these than our penis-possessing** counterparts.