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Message from Astro2020 Co-Chairs: AAS Townhall, White Papers, and Call for Nominations

Friday, January 4, 2019 - 11:02

This post is adapted from a National Academies email sent on 20 December:

Survey Updates

Note from the Co-Chairs

Astro2020 Logo

Dear colleagues;

We are excited, honored, (and somewhat daunted by) the opportunity to lead the community in setting scientific priorities for the decade from 2020 − 2030. We are just beginning the process of working with the National Academies to organize and structure the survey process, and we look forward to hearing from you at the upcoming AAS meeting at the town hall meeting on 9 January at 6:30 pm in Room 6B. In the interim, we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a few important items.

As announced, we have decided to extend the due date for science white papers until 19 February in order to provide more time to fully engage the community in this process. We want to encourage scientists at all career stages to participate in the crafting of these important inputs. Mid-career and senior members of the community can help to engage students, postdocs, and other early-career scientists through journal club-like forums and discussions, and we plan to engage directly with all of these groups as the survey develops. We have selected some examples of white papers from the last decadal survey that we found to be good models, and have posted them, along with formatting instructions and a template on the Astro2020 website.

As we move forward, we will be working with the leaders of previous surveys, as well as with members of the community to consider how to structure the survey committee and the panels. At this point, no decisions have been made on the panel structure. However, we are requesting nominations now to help identify qualified members of both the survey committee and future scientific and programmatic panels. If you know of individuals who you believe would be excellent candidates for participation, or if you would like to volunteer, please fill out a nomination form.

We recognize that members of the community are already engaging in significant ways by preparing science white papers as well as concepts for space and ground-based projects that will be considered for ranking by the survey. As soon as we have determined rough timescales for solicitation of project and state of the profession white papers, and for future events associated with the survey, we will let you know.

Best regards,

Fiona Harrison and Rob Kennicutt
Astro2020 Decadal Survey Co-Chairs

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Ashlee N. Wilkins
John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
American Astronomical Society (AAS)
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