No. A single letter to a Senator or Congressman once per year is simply not enough to make your elected representative notice your needs or issues. Regular communication can be tremendously beneficial and the AAS strongly encourages AAS members to develop personal relationships with their elected officials or their staff.
Occasionally, an action by government that could have a negative (or positive) impact on astronomy must be stopped (or supported). At these times, a rapid, grassroots-level action on the part of the AAS membership can create a truly positive result in Congress or in other areas of government.
When one of these times arrives, the Policy Fellow works with the Executive Officer and the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy creates an AAS Action Alert. This is then emailed to the appropriate sub-group of the AAS membership.
The government has other impacts on astronomy besides the obvious one of providing funds for research and research facilities. Policies on education, for example stipend levels allowed under research grants, or student loan tax credits are both set by the Government. Policies regarding land use can have an obvious impact on astronomy. Governmental panels can make decisions about how many federal agencies should fund astronomy. The Federal Communications Commission manages spectrum use and can have both helpful and harmful impacts on astronomy.
Public policy is a catchall phrase that includes actions of and interactions with both Congress and the Executive branch. It also captures activities of the AAS that can have an impact in the wider arena of public life, such as creating and endorsing statements related to science, science policy or other issues.
English is preferred, we will do our best to deal with inquiries in Spanish: any other language will be handled only at our convenience.
The AAS provides discounted AAS journal subscriptions to institutions in many developing countries. In addition, astronomers from any country may apply for Chretien Research Grants however the competition is not limited to those from developing countries and is often very stiff.
The AAS will permit use of the mailing list by commercial and non-commercial organizations. Details of products or events must be submitted and judged to be of potential interest to a significant fraction of the membership. Authorization is given for one-time use of the list on each occasion. A small fee is charged to cover handling. The AAS mailing list is never sold to firms unrelated to astronomy or science.
The AAS is primarily a society of researchers in astronomy and it wishes to assure that the members meet minimum qualifications in the area. Nomination by two Full Members of the AAS who are familiar with the qualifications of the nominee is one way of achieving this goal.
The Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize provides graduate students or postdocs within one year of receiving or receipt of their PhD a monetary prize to enable the oral presentation of their dissertation research at a winter meeting of the AAS. Other than the Doxsey prize the the AAS does not have funds to support travel by members or nonmembers to its meetings. The AAS International Travel Grant Program only provides support for US based astronomers to travel to meetings held outside the US.
AAS meetings are dynamic gatherings of professional astronomers from around the world. The winter meetings typically boast 2000 participants or more. The four days are filled with scientific sessions, both poster and oral as well as invited sessions from prominent researchers with exciting results. The summer meetings have topical sessions, which are more lengthy oral sessions focused on particular topics. The meeting program is decided upon by the three vice-Presidents with logistical details provided by the AAS meeting coordinator.
Currently the winter meeting location rotates between four cities, Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and Long Beach, California. Summer meetings are held in a variety of locations, which are chosen by the Council in response to proposals from interested institutions.
Advertising is accepted in the annual AAS Calendar and on the AER site. Corporate Members and Publisher Affiliates may advertise in the AAS Meeting Program booklet. The AAS does not accept paid advertising in its journals, Newsletter, Directory, or website. AAS members do receive Physics Today, which does accept advertising.
The AAS will only publish book reviews for books that cover astronomical education, career development and public policy. Educational book reviews may be submitted to the Astronomy Education Review. The AAS Newsletter occasionally contains summaries of non-scientific books in the areas of career development or public policy.
The AAS will NOT review or comment upon research manuscripts unless they are submitted for publication in one of the AAS journals in accord with the instructions for that journal.
The AAS Photo-Bulletins are available through the Astrophysics Data System. To retrieve the issue, enter volume#24, highlight the American Astronomical Society Photo-Bulletin and hit the Send Request button.
We only publish the abstracts. We do not publish full articles based on meeting presentations in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (BAAS). You could search the NASA Astrophysics Data System to see if the BAAS author published in other journals on the same topic. Or you could search the web for the author's institution and see if anything is published on the author's own website.