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.
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.
Vacancies for AAS Prize committees will be filled by Council at its meeting in Long Beach, California in January 2013. Current committee members are listed under “Committees” on the AAS homepage, http://aas.org/comms.
Committees that will have vacancies, followed by the number of vacancies on each (in parenthesis) are:
The AAS is sad to announce the passing of former AAS Vice-President Gart Westerhout. When the AAS incorporated in Washington, DC, Dr. Westerhout signed the Articles of Incorporation. He was a life-long supporter of the AAS.
A housing pirate is an unauthorized housing provider that often claims a vague affiliation with a conference and offers reduced rates to attendees. The AAS Executive Office is the official housing bureau for the 221st AAS Meeting in Long Beach, CA and only they can guarantee room reservations and rates.
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.
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.
As I write this column, I am preparing and packing for the long trip across the Pacific Ocean to the 28th International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Beijing, China. More than 500 US astronomers will be attending as well, more than a hundred of which had their travel enabled through support provided by a grant from the NSF and administered by the AAS as our International Travel Grant Program.
Former AAS Press Officer Steve Maran once said, “News is what reporters want to cover, not necessarily what organizations, agencies, and institutions want to publicize.” In other words newsworthiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder—or, in this case, the journalist. So what do journalists consider to be important? In Science and Journalists—Reporting Science as News (Free Press, 1986), Sharon M.
At 1:32AM Eastern time on 6 August, the Mars Science Laboratory and its charmingly named rover, Curiosity, executed a perfect landing in Gale Crater. President Obama called the highly complex landing procedure “an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of pride far into the future.” While we certainly hope Curiosity’s lifetime on Mars is a long one, we must all continue to make the case that we do not want to see this success as the only “point of pride” generated by a solar system mission in the coming decade.
While the eyes of the world were turning to London for the Olympics, physics was in the air in Estonia as America’s best high-school physics students participated in the 43rd International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). Teams from 88 countries joined in the competition, held 15-23 July 2012 in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and the old university town of Tartu. China and Taiwan tied for first place with 5 gold medals. Singapore was second with 4 golds. The U.S., Korea, and Russia tied with 3 golds and 2 silvers each.
Members of the 2012 U.S. Physics Team:
The Astro2010 report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, will be publically released in pre-publication form via the National Academies Press website and an eTownHall webcast at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, August 13, 2010. The fully edited final publication version of the report will emerge later in the year.