Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 57 - Policy Making in Astronomy and its Impact on the Community.
Oral session, Tuesday, January 16
La Condesa, Hilton

[57.01] AAS Special Session: Policy Making in Astronomy

J. A. Cardelli (Villanova Univ.), D. Massa (Applied Research Corp.)

The professional astronomical community today is more diverse than at any time in its history. Individuals participating in creative research programs can be found in a wide range of positions. This type of diversity, which mixes research, education, and service (e.g. contract) work, represents the strength of contemporary astronomy. While recognizing the unavoidable reductions in funding and restructuring of organizations like NASA, it is imperative that the significance of the current diversity be considered during these processes. Creative ideas are one of the cornerstones of quality research, and they can originate anywhere. Consequently, it is essential that adequate research resources remain available for free and open competition by all astronomers.

Our goal in this session is to bring together officials from the AAS, NASA, and the NSF to discuss how the policy and decision making process operates and whether it should be changed to better serve the general needs of the professional astronomical community. Examples of the issues we believe are important include:

\beginitemize \item In establishing new policy, how can the needs of the average research astronomer be better addressed?

\item How could input from such astronomers be provided to those who craft NASA/NSF policy?

\item How can/should the AAS serve as an interface between policy/decision making bodies and its membership?

\item Should the AAS membership become more actively/effectively involved in the decision making process and, if so, how? \enditemize

More information on this session and related issues can be found at the Association of Research Astronomers Home Page: \tt

Program listing for Tuesday