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Bringing Sustainability into Your Institution

Sustainability is a complex issue with a large array of consequences ranging from local to global and from scientific and economic to natural and spiritual. As astronomers, we usually apply the same standards of inductive reasoning that we use in our daily work to discern cause-and-effect relationships and to make predictions of the impacts of both natural and human-generated environmental changes on this planet.

Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy

Although recent decades have seen significant progress by women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), this rate of progress is not shared by women scientists belonging to underrepresented minorities. Recognizing this problem, the National Academy of Sciences organized a conference entitled, “Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia,” which was held on 7-8 June 2012 in Washington, DC. In preparation, the Academies invited a range of scientific societies to comment on the status of women of color in their disciplines.

Journals Update: The AAS Journals Business Model is Sound

My last two columns have looked at some issues related to the Society’s publishing business model. In July, I wrote an overview of the Open Access advocacy that has been taking place all year. And in September, I reviewed (at some length!) the value proposition of the scholarly publishing process generally. In this column, I want to try and impress you with the merits of the business model we use (and have used for 100 years). I will do that by addressing the two principal arguments I hear for switching to a pure open access approach.

From the Executive Office

By the time you read this column, the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting for 2012 will be history and the results will no doubt be bouncing around the Internet. The AAS is proud to help organize the annual meeting of the DPS when it is held in the US and support our largest Division to accomplish their goals. We have expanded and improved our support for all of our Divisions in the last several years, with what I think are very positive results. Our Divisions play a central role in our Society by bringing focus to specific areas of our diverse science.

President's Column

From close-up pictures of water-sculpted pebbles on Mars, to the detection of galaxies at the boundary of the Dark Ages, discoveries in our field continue to advance our understanding of the Universe and to fascinate legions of the public who support our inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not see similar progress in the political sphere, even now that the consequences have been spelled out of allowing budget sequestration to hit every government agency in January.

*NEW* Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop for Early-Career AAS Members: Resources and Techniques for Effective Outreach to Students and the Public

5-6 January 2013, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

The newly established AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program is designed to support early-career AAS members with training in resources and techniques for effective outreach to students and/or the public. The first Astronomy Ambassadors workshop will be held on 5-6 January 2013 in conjunction with the 221st AAS meeting in Long Beach, California.

 

Advancing Science, Acknowledging Service, Recognizing Research

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Click here for more information about The 2012 Campaign

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is committed to programs that recognize the active involvement of our members. By participating in our 2012 Spring/Summer Campaign, your dollars will be used to promote astronomy globally by advancing students, acknowledging extraordinary service, and celebrating outstanding research.

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