What Happens When a Harassment Whistleblower Goes on the Science Job Market


When astronomer Sarah Ballard walked onto the University of California, Berkeley, campus for an academic job interview in February, it was a homecoming. She had attended college there, walking to class underneath the Seussian London plane trees as the campanile chimed periodically in the background. Berkeley had made her the exoplanet-studying scientist she was. It had taught her well, prepared her for graduate school, and propelled her into a successful career, including her current position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It had, in fact, prepared her so well that she was back, being considered for a professorship at one of the country's top astronomy departments. And what a nice narrative--to have come full circle. She had grown up in this department, but she also had been harassed, and helped topple an astronomical icon.

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