What to Expect at an AAS Meeting

Introduction

At the semi-annual meetings of the AAS there are five basic types of presentation sessions (described in detail below). Four are planned one meeting in advance by the AAS Committee on Meetings and one is composed of Member contributions.

The Committee on Meetings is composed of the three Vice-Presidents, the Executive Officer (or designee) and the President (ex-officio). The chair of the Committee on Meetings is always the senior Vice-President.

Types of Sessions at AAS Meetings

During winter meetings, iPosters are displayed for the full meeting, posters are displayed for one day and late abstracts are usually displayed on the final day of the meeting. During summer meetings, iPosters and posters are displayed for the full meeting, and late abstracts are usually scheduled into existing iPoster sessions.

Contributed Sessions

Contributions may be either oral, iPoster Plus, iPoster or poster (all types are referred to individually as "papers"). All members may contribute presentations, which are sorted and grouped by a committee of volunteers shortly after the abstract deadline for each meeting.

Further rules governing the submission of contributed papers, including proper submission guidelines and deadlines, are published on the AAS webpages a few months before the meeting.

Nominations Requested for Plenary Speakers at AAS Meetings

Plenary talks at AAS meetings span the breadth of the astronomical sciences. Some are given by prizewinners, while others are selected by the AAS VPs. Most plenaries present science content, but others cover the state of the profession and other issues relevant to the community.

The AAS VPs solicit plenary nominations. They seek engaging speakers with compelling results for talks targeted to a general audience of astronomers and college/university students. Candidates from under-represented groups and institutions are especially welcome. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nominations received by 15 December will be considered for the 236th AAS meeting, and unselected nominees will be considered for future meetings.

Nominate a Plenary Speaker

Special Sessions

  • Intended for observatories, missions and facilities to discuss scientific results and plans, and for discussion of education and state-of-the-profession topics. They typically feature multiple speakers.
  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Members
  • Held at both the winter and summer meetings
  • Have a length of 90 minutes
  • Scheduled in parallel with other special and contributed sessions
  • They may be held on any of the four meeting days
  • No required format, i.e., they may be a series of talks, a panel discussion, or other presentation formats

Meeting-in-a-Meeting Sessions

  • Intended for current space missions and ground-based facilities whose representatives wish to highlight new results
  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS members by the Committee on Meetings, which is composed of the Vice-Presidents, the Past-President or the President-Elect, and one senior Trustee appointed by the President
  • Held at summer meetings
  • Have a length of two to seven sessions, 90 minutes each
  • Scheduled in parallel with other special and contributed sessions
  • Have no required format, but an opening introductory talk for a non-specialist audience is highly recommended

Town Hall Meetings

Town Halls are intended for federal agencies and national observatories to present policy information and to solicit feedback from their user communities. Current missions and facilities should request Special Sessions (see above) to present results. Future missions and facilities can utilize exhibits, workshops, splinter meetings (see below), or websites to provide information to the community.

  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Members
  • Held at winter and summer meetings
  • One hour and are typically held from 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm, or 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Scheduled during lunch on any of the four meeting days
  • Other lunch time events may be scheduled in parallel
  • Current missions and facilities should request Special Sessions to present results.

Workshops

  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Members.
  • Workshops are normally on educational and career topics.
  • Held on Saturday and/or Sunday at both winter and summer meetings.
  • Have a length of a half-day, full-day, or two full-days.
  • Scheduled in parallel with other workshops and, at winter meetings, in parallel with Historical sessions.
  • Any AAS member can request a Workshop; participants must be registered for the current meeting.
  • A summary of the meeting topic and content must be submitted.
  • The identified workshop organizer must be an AAS member and should submit complete contact information, including onsite contact information.
  • Individual speaker abstracts are not published for workshops.
  • Costs associated with catering and equipment rental are the responsibility of the Workshop organizer. The fees will be invoiced by the AAS once the meeting closes and is audited.

Splinter Meetings

  • Splinter Meetings are held at winter and summer meetings
  • Splinter Meetings can be scheduled before, during, or after AAS meeting days (additional fees may apply to meetings scheduled after the AAS meeting closes).
  • Any AAS member can request a Splinter Meeting; participants must be registered for the current meeting.
  • A summary of the meeting topic and content must be submitted.
  • Public Splinter Meetings should not typically conflict with AAS scheduled Invited Talks.
  • Private (invitation only) Splinter Meetings can be scheduled at any time.
  • The identified session organizer must be an AAS Member and should submit complete contact information, including onsite contact information.
  • Events can be published online or in the program update with the approval of the AAS Executive Office.
  • Costs associated with catering and equipment rental are the responsibility of the Splinter Meeting organizer. The fees will be invoiced by the AAS once the meeting closes and is audited.
  • Meeting requests are honored and assigned on a first come, first served basis depending on meeting room availability.
  • Meeting organizers will be notified via email of specific room assignments by 15 December for Winter meetings and 15 May for Summer meetings.
  • All requests submitted after the deadline will be assigned based upon availability and will not be included in the printed meeting program.

How to Submit Proposals for Meeting Content

Winter Meeting Session Proposal Information and Organizer Deadlines will be available in mid-January 2020.

Summer Meeting Session Proposal Information and Organizer Deadlines

Special Sessions, Meeting-in-a-Meeting, Town Hall, and Workshops

The following information is needed to complete the proposal form:

  • Clear indication of the session type
  • A session title (50 characters or less)
  • Identified session organizer (who must be an AAS member) with full contact information
  • A description, which is published in the meeting program and online schedule
  • A list of potential speakers
  • A brief justification for the session; include pertinent information for the Committee on Meetings