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Editor's Corner

Be careful what you ask for, because sometimes you get what you wish. I asked, or at least commented, at the past Annual Meeting, and then in print in the May 1998 issue of the SAA Bulletin, that committees needed to become more active in developing useful content for the Bulletin. A number of committees heard me, and three of them--Ethics, COSWA, and Public Education--are beginning regular columns in this issue. The former will present a series of "ethical dilemmas" in the conduct of archaeology following their successful session in Seattle, and will expand upon these topics and others in future issues. Public Education is planning a series of columns on how professionals in the field can direct their attention to the public across a number of forums in the hopes that through education, we can ensure continued, or even enhanced, support for archaeology and historic preservation.

How do you get an academic job in this field? Good question. Standard answers include hard work, intelligence, luck, and important and interesting field or analytical work. Common knowledge also has it that job success is largely correlated with the prestige of your department, or perhaps more specifically, that of your advisor. Some have speculated on other potential determinants, such as gender. You may recall the paper by Barbara Stark and coauthors we published last year. [SAA Bulletin 15(4):6-9]. Among its conclusions was that women are not being hired in proportion to the numbers of Ph.D. recipients. Scott Hutson of Berkeley addresses both these questions in a very interesting paper in this issue. He shows that while prestige does matter, many departments seen as the most prestigious have had relatively little success in moving their graduates into academic positions. He also examines gender biases in hiring, and his findings suggest that while the climate for women in archaeology continues to be chilly, the situation is more complex than is commonly imagined and that data beyond surveys are required to gain deeper insight into the origins and effects of gender bias in archaeology.


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