Franck Marchis: Candidate for Treasurer

Affiliation: SETI Institute

Position/Title: Senior Astronomer

PhD institution: Universiteé Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (2000)

Areas of scientific interest:

  • Adaptive optics
  • Asteroids
  • Exoplanet direct imaging
  • Citizen astronomy
  • Outreach

AAS and/or Division leadership positions and dates:

  • Member, DPS Professional Climate & Culture Subcommittee (2016 – 2018)

Other relevant positions, experience, and dates:

  • Member, SETI Permanent Committee, IAA (2019 – present)
  • Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder, Unistellar (2017 – present)
  • Telescope international science definition team for solar system, TMT (2013 – present)
  • Affiliated Scientist, Observatoire de Paris (2003 – present); Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (2018 – present)
  • Member, Divisions B, C, & F of the IAU (2018 – present)
  • Member, SPIE (2015 – present)
  • Member, Union of Concerned Scientists (2014 – present)
  • Member, American Geophysical Union (2003 – present)
  • Scientific advisor, VR2Planets (2017 – present); Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio (2017 – present)
  • Science Operations Lead, Project Blue (2018 – present)
  • Collaboration Manager, Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (2003 – present)

I share with you, the interest and excitement of our vibrant community and I have witnessed changes and progress with the development of new space missions to new directions throughout the entire solar system, space-based and ground-based telescopes, as well as significant effort in outreach, education and to make our division more inclusive over the past 2 decades. This is truly the golden age of astronomy.

For these and other reasons, I would be honored to serve as AAS treasurer and will do all I can to ensure our financial resources achieve outcomes that best advance astronomy. Above all, this means making wise use of resources from our executive offices, meetings, donations, and publications in peer-reviewed journals and Sky & Telescope. Working closely with the AAS financial officer, I will work to modernize our funding with new initiatives such as seed programs that give more visibility to astronomers who have embraced public/private partnerships to fund their research, and also to innovative education and outreach programs.

As a member of the board of trustees, I want to ensure that the AAS remains a welcoming place for all astronomers, one that respects differences and gives voice to underrepresented groups in all their diversity, including the LGBT community and scientists with families. We must always remember that an institution that reflects the diversity and modernity of our world will produce better results by attracting dynamic people into our field. Ultimately those efforts will build stronger bridges between this society, its members, and the public at large, and help astronomy continue to build on the awe-inspiring work of recent decades. Yes, we have accomplished much, and have much to be proud of—but our work is not coming to a close, or even slowing down. It is just beginning.